Friday, March 06, 2015

Nissan Leaf Cigarette Lighter / Power Socket repair

If your Nissan Leaf cigaretter lighter stopped working but the fuse isn't blown, here's how I fixed mine. Probably also works on other Nissan power sockets.

DISCLAIMER: Assume I'm an idiot and any guidance you find here will cause a fire, hairloss, and render you sterile.


Soldering Iron 
I like this little one. I use mine often. It will melt solder on the lowest temp settings, and it's butane so it works everywhere. Cool gadget. Not for fine soldering, but great for wires and ugliness like we're about to do. I aim to misbehave.

And a screwdriver. Longish, with a wide flat blade.


Ok, so I was running a mini heater and the heater seat cushion from my Nissan Leaf power socket (cigarette lighter) and all of a sudden it quit working after I wiggled the plug expander (gives me 3 sockets).

By the way, PLEASE if you want some of these items use our Nissan Leaf store on Amazon to buy it or really, anything you buy on Amazon counts. MOST of the things in the store I've tested, use and own, or have something similar.

Link to my store, Leaf section :

This is how I get paid to write the articles fixing the weird issues I can't find solutions to anywhere else.

Ok, so moving on.

The fuse was not blown. By the way, it's a 20Amp fuse so it should be enough to run the mini heater and heated seat pad on Low with a couple of amps to spare. The two together should be under 18 amps according to the info on Amazon and the mini heater specs.

I decided to dig into the dash and see where the problem was.

I took apart the dash to get to the socket using this guide

That's pretty simple. It was a lot easier than I thought.

DON'T think that little panel that holds the socket can be removed by removing the screws at the top. It can't. There's something at the bottom that holds it also. Plus those top screws are a major pain to get in and out without undoing a whole lot more stuff and you'll drop your screw or screwdriver and then you're fishing.

Just don't.

Not that I did. Or anything.

Just do this:

1. Pull the connector off (pic above) and measure the voltage. Should be around 12V. Polarity doesn't matter we just care if it's getting power so just put the voltmeter leads to both lead connectors. May read -12V if you have the leads reversed. Again, doesn't matter. In this case, I was getting power here. If you don't have power, then you have a weird problem somewhere else. Not this weird problem.

2. So, take the socket out. I carefully used a screwdriver so I didn't tear up the plastic. GENTLY, and use a wide blade, unless you like scratches. Maximum area to spread the pressure out. Minimum force, so you don't make gouges. I put my blade across the top and it was wider, this pic is from the guide above.

Notice the socket cover says 180W? That's 15 Amps. The mini heater and pad run how much? Just less than 18. But the fuse is 20. Again, don't blame me if you melt something.

A note on that: the socket has a LOT of open air around it inside the console, so nothing touches it. Also, there's a big ceramic piece inside the socket to help with the heat generated in the socket. Worst case, if you melt it, it's just a power socket. Cheap and pretty easy to replace after you learn your lesson.

I never do, that's one of my problems.

Now, remove this screw off the socket:

Then, take this part

and scuff an area closest to the blade and the side so you can add some solder. This is where my problem was: something in here lost continuity between that blade and the housing part of the socket. My guess is a spot weld or something broke because 240W isn't enough to melt metal and the fuse would blow past that amount.

Make it look prettier than mine:

Reassemble in reverse order.

Now, wasn't that fun?

Pardon my shameless PLUGS to use my Amazon store. PLUGS, get it? See what I did there?


Mat said...

Thanks for the fun post! Just stumbled across it - it is informative and entertaining!

I probably don't need this full repair, I probably just have a blown fuse.
Problem is: I cannot make HEADS OR TAILS of the manual in terms of figuring where to locate the right fuse to check. I literally think there is a diagram missing from my manual, but it is possible it is just super poorly written. Or I'm just clueless.

Can you let me know which fuse I should check, before I go one-by-one through any I can find?
Or feel free to link me to the appropriate info, I'm guessing this data exists somewhere, but my Googling is failing me.

Thanks! said...

I thought the manual had the fuse location or the fuse block cover had it printed on it. said...

At any rate, it's a 20 amp fuse and there aren't many of those so if you had to check them all, not as big of a deal. said...

At any rate, it's a 20 amp fuse and there aren't many of those so if you had to check them all, not as big of a deal.

Mat said...

Thanks for the reply, I believe i checked all fuses in all 3 boxes by now, but I'll double check the 20a ones now that you mentioned it.

Otherwise, I wonder if your article is actually relevant to my situation...


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