Getting the Cigar Lighters to Work

American cars call them cigarette lighters, but Jaguar calls them cigar lighters; they're the same thing, but the ash-trays (two in the front and two in the rear) are enormous. Either way, they work the same: you push the button in and it clicks. Wait a minute, and when the button pops back out, extract it and press the glowing end to your cigarette or cigar. If you want to see what it looks like (and I have to say this because most modern cars don't have them anymore), Roger Moore handles one at the end of the Harlem sequence in Live & Let Die.

I don't smoke, so I didn't realize that mine didn't work until I wanted to use the receptical to run a bluetooth audio-transmitter so I could pipe music from my iPhone through the car stereo. No power. I checked the back-seat lighter as well: no power.

The front-seat lighter is located on the center console stack, on the top level, to the left of the trip-computer (the right side has the interior lighting dimmer rheostat). I'd removed the center console dash to replace the fuel-changeover switch; I also noticed the trip-computer was dead, so I figured I'd probably accidentally knocked out power to both when I was changing the switch. No matter, I'll pull the console and take a look.

Jaguar XJ6 Series 3 front cigar lighter on center console

First thing I found was there's a lamp that hooks up to it, and the lamp was burned out. It takes a Sylviania 3796, which of course I couldn't find locally, I had to buy a box of 10 from Amazon. But it works and hopefully other instrument-panel lamps are the same, so if I need to replace more I'll already have them on the shelf.

Jaguar XJ6 Series 3 cigar lighter assembly and panel lampI still have no idea what this lamp does, unless it's just meant to light up the inside of the cigar lighter.

I checked power with a multimeter and got zilch. This is run by an in-line fuse that's located on the right-hand-side of the center console. To get to it, you remove the two machine screws holding the black plastic vent, and then the panel slips off.

It was still tough getting to the fuses. I ended up having to take the black below-the-glove-box panel, which opened up some elbow room.

There are two inline fuses here, both are 2-amp, glass-cylinder types that are thankfully common. One runs the radio and the other the cigar lighter. One was blown, so I replaced it; the other was fine (which makes sense because the radio still worked).

That solved the problem. I put the ignition key in accessory (position 1) pushed the lighter button in, waited what I thought was a very short time and popped it out. Touched it with my fingertip and gave myself a nasty burn (I still have a bit of callous from it, as I type this). So that works.

At the same time I had thought the trip computer module wasn't working either, but no--that came to life. So either I just didn't do it right or maybe I jiggled something and made a better connection. Either way, the trip computers / LED clock are back on.

So that's it. I can now charge my phone with the USB adapater out of the cigar lighter, I've got that lamp going again, and the trip computer back. And nothing new broken in the process.

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