Just thought I'd feedback what I learned recently when working on my rear compartment cigar lighters. Not a big deal, I know, but if it helps anyone else out then it will have been worth posting.

Okay, so I don't smoke and most people I know don't either...and even if a smoker was riding with me in my 64 Fleetwood I'd never allow them to light up a cigarette or cigar. So, yes, it may sound daft that the rear compartment lighters not working had been bugging me, but if something is there then I just don't feel right knowing it's not working! 

Basic checks confirmed that (a) both lighter bases had a live feed going to them and (b) that the lighter elements worked fine in the front bases. After a little more investigation, prompted by Jason alerting me to the fact that these rear compartment lighter have fuses that screw into the bases, I determined that the fuses were indeed no good. My next step was going to be to make some kind of modification to the bases in order to bypass these fuses, but just before I set out on that I thought I had nothing to lose so pried open one of the fuses to take a look.....just a few metal tabs that need bending back and they open up easily.

Inside is a metal spring that is supposed to bridge the gap between each end of the fuse holder and acts as the fuse itself. I found that this seemed to have compressed over time and was not quite making contact at both ends. It was also quite badly oxidised. I cleaned it up and gently stretched it so that it would act as a spring again, which meant that I had to hold the two fuse sections together as I was pushing the metal tabs back down to secure it all back together. Then I tested it and found it to be working fine. The second fuse needed the same doing but I also had to clean up another pair of contacts in the base section.

By the way, I found out for sure that the spring acts as the fuse as I managed to blow one by accidently creating a short circuit. Luckily it broke right at one end and I was able to remove the broken piece and stretch the remaining piece back out to fill the gap again!
So neither of my two fuses were actually blown, but just needed cleaning and tweaking to operate again as they were designed. All in all it only took a few minutes to do each one, but bypassing them would be another viable option as I believe the circuit would still be protected by the Body Feed fuse in the main fuse board.

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Comment by David Murray on September 22, 2012 at 3:50am

Yes, the USB lighter sockets are a good idea....also, it's handy having the working 12v sockets for my tire inflater machine.

Good point about the lighter popping-up Tony. I suspect you have to be sure that the metal tabs in the socket do not clamp the lighter too tightly when pressed in.

Think I've got all the options/electrical equipment working properly now, with the exception of the clock that I've sent off for repair and the rear quarter panel lights that do not switch on when a rear door is opened. At the moment the front seat is out being recovered, so taking the opportunity to clean the carpets (and probably the headliner) is my job for today....may hire a steam cleaner.

Comment by Jason Edge on September 21, 2012 at 7:46pm

As I was telling David, I use my lighters all the time...for those USB adaptors for cell  phones, etc. I've got double USB ligther sockets in all of our cars. 

Comment by Tony and Ginny 429 on September 21, 2012 at 7:42pm

I bypassed the fuse and went directly to the socket with no problem (aligator clip )

the part of the lighter that GLOWS and wears out over time is available at any auto store

just unscrew the nob from it and put a new on on

do be sure to watch the lighter if you use it

if it does not POP uUP as it should. when it gets  hot as it should  , it might cause a problem

i do always watch that when using them

so far ,so good

do not care if i do not use the lighters or the AC in my car--they still have to work as was intended for me to be HAPPY with the world

Comment by Jason Edge on September 20, 2012 at 7:59pm

Excellent Information. I've added this to our Help Topics Page.

Comment by Kurt on September 20, 2012 at 5:14pm

That is very helpful information. Several years ago one of my rear lighters did not work. Not knowing that the screw in coupling was a fuse, I simply rigged the hot wire to the lighter terminal. It has been working fine. If I ever have the rear panel off again and I can find the fuse I will probably try what you described here. Just as in yours, smoking is forbidden in my car but I do want everything to work.


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