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Registered User
Posts: 14
(2/19/03 9:16 am)
Constant Power
Hello again. In my 2003 the cig lighter and the alternate power adapter just under the lighter both turn off when i shut the car off. I hate that, how can i get at least one of them to keep constant power?

Registered User
Posts: 1308
(2/19/03 10:37 am)
Re: Constant Power

All you have to do is remove the ashtray, then the two screws that are revealed, then remove the panel that holds the ashtray and the accessory outlets. Just pull it off toward the rear of the car. Then you need to get power that is always on to the power wire for one of the outlets. Cut the existing power wire first. Add crimp on spade connectors if you want to be able to put it back in the future.

Some people say to tap into a wire from something like the hazard light circuit that always has power, and this does work. Be sure to use wire that can handle as many amps as the fuse in the circuit you take power from. The fuse protects the wiring from burning if there is a short. So a 10 amp fuse protecting a thin wire that can only handle 5 amps is not good.

But I have added a couple of circuits (remote amp turn on and a red led that flashes on the dash whenever the lights are not on). I prefer this method:

Get a Littelfuse add on kit at an auto parts store. Put it where the hazard fuse is and put the hazard fuse into the adapter (it comes with instructions). That gives you back the original hazard circuit. Put a fuse in the second slot of the adapter that is big enough for whatever you want to power, but no more than 10 amps in any case. To be on the safe side I'd keep it to a 5 or 7.5, but I used 2 and 3 amp fuses where that is more than my circuit requires. Run the wire from the adapter (which is protected by your second fuse) to the power wire of the outlet.

Even if you never did this it's still easy and anyone can do it. You can get crimp type butt connectors to splice the wires together and a crimp tool is a few dollars at the auto parts stores. Cut the wires such that you don't leave any exposed copper and it's a good connection. You can also get heat shrink tubing at Radio shack for about $2. I like to solder the wires and cover with heat shrink, but it's not necessary to go to the trouble.

Be sure to protect the original power wire after you cut it. Heat shrink the end or tape good with electrical tape or something. If you use spade connectors then wrap the unused connector in tape.

I do this stuff my way because I prefer not to cut any more wires than I have to, and I like to be able to put it back like it was in case I want to in the future. If I ever have electrical problems they won't be from my few wiring additions, but the dealer people would naturally question my work. They can't blame me unless they can show that my wiring is the source of a problem.

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