I've had my 1996 Subaru Sambar 'Elsie' for a couple of months now and I've only just noticed that the cigarette port isnt working. I want to go camping in her in a few weeks and I want to use the cigarette port for the sat nav etc. I have checked the fuses and they all seem to be ok but there is a red wire leading from the cigarette port to the fuses and then behind the steering colume and then to a little black box that is dangling loosley. There is a light blue plastic box with metal/copper forks on it that looks like they would slot into the dangling black box. I cant put these two together due to a tight, non slack blue wire that is attached to the dangling black box and the wire then travels behind some carpet near the gas pedal.
As you can see by this post, I know nothing except that Elsie is awesome except for her lighter port!
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
How did you determine that it is not working? If it was by trying to use it as a lighter, it is possible the element is burned out in the removable part.
Otherwise you're on a hunt with a VOM (Volt/Ohm meter).
Thanks for replying. I managed to connect the dangling black box to the light blue box but still no power to the lighter socket. Everything else worked in Elsie to I unconnected the parts again. I have tried 2 different devices in the cigarette port - a fan heater and my sat nav. Both devices have a little LED light when there is power but neither have lighted up.
If I can get hold of a VOM, where would be the best place to start and what do I actually touch with the VOM?
I have checked all the fuses and they seem to be ok except one is missing - a 20v fuse. Would a 20v fuse be required for a lighter port? As the fuse cover is in Japanese, I'm not sure what the missing fuse should operate - everything else works!
One plus point tonight though is that I managed to find the AUX in port on my CD player and now my MP3 player works a treat - long story!
Thanks again Andrew,
Fuses are usually rated in Amps, so a 20-Amp fuse is probably what the lighter requires. That is pretty hefty, and a lighter would need a hefty fuse. I bet you have found the problem. However, if the fuse blew there is a reason, and you'll need to keep an eye out for what caused it. Until you know you will always wonder ...
If you have to start troubleshooting, there are going to be several ways to skin this cat, but here is my strategy:
The single wire coming out of the lighter socket should be hot, so be careful about shorting it to other metal around there. A good ground is anything not insulated from the metal frame or body of the vehicle. Touch hot (12V) to ground and you get a light show and sometimes smoke. Electrical things never work quite the same after the smoke gets out. Be careful!
1) If you can connect the Volt meter from the wire at the socket to ground it should give you 12 volts. If it does chances are the socket is not grounded properly or is otherwise defective.
2) Try from a good ground to the source of that wire (fuse panel?). If you have no power there, the wire is probably good and the fuse is next. Test it with an Ohmmeter.
3 ...) Then the other side of the fuse, then the main hot source for the panel. At some point you'll find the magic point where in one place you have volts, in the next place (as you move toward the battery) you don't. Between those points is where your problem can be found.
I would suspect either the socket is damaged or something is disconnected at the panel. You checked the fuse, but look closely at it. Blown fuses may not look blown, so test it with the Ohmmeter (should show low resistance, i.e., near zero. Not "open circuit" or "OL", etc.).
I hope this helps. Troubleshooting is a little bit technical, a little bit ingenuity, and a measure of luck. Once you get started you'll probably find it quite quickly.
Again, thanks for replying. I have tried a 20 amp in the missing slot and still no life. On the fuse box cover, amongst all the Japanese writing, for the missing fuse, it says ABS in capitals. No idea!
I will print out your response and my father is going to ask his neighbour who is a fork lift mechanic and has recently renovated his own VW camper. I may get him to look at that dangley black box that fits onto the light blue box whilst he's at it.
Cheers Andrew, wish me luck or I'll be back again!
Ben and Elsie, the 1996 SUbaru Sambar
ABS = Anti-lock Braking System. You probably don't have the ABS option installed, hence the missing fuse.
I thought it meant that but being the novice that I am, I didn't know a fuse controlled the ABS! I even think that Elsie is a permenant 4WD but again, not sure
My ignorance is blamed on my father in law who helped us by Elsie!