How to Test Your Car’s Accessory Socket or Cigarette Lighter

Your cell phone won’t charge. Your GPS won’t power up. You can’t light your cigarette. What’s going on? Whether your car has an old-fashioned cigarette lighter or a 12V accessory socket, it’s easy to troubleshoot the problem when either one goes on the fritz. Either you’ve blown a fuse or something is preventing the socket from making good contact with the lighter or your accessories.

Check for Debris or Objects

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If your car has a 12V accessory socket or cigarette lighter that stops working, the first thing to do is check to make sure there isn’t anything inside.

Everything from dirt to lint to bits of paper and even coins can easily get stuck inside, preventing contact or shorting the fuse. Just grab a flashlight and shine the beam inside. If you see anything, be careful how you remove it. If it’s dirt or small bits of paper or debris, grab some canned air and blow it out. To remove a coin, get a pair of tweezers and carefully extract it from the socket, taking care not to touch the Automotive Diagnostic Software.

Test the Power

If nothing is obstructing the socket, move on to testing the power. Obviously, you can’t test your 12V socket like you would your cigarette lighter socket (by actually plugging in the lighter), but it’s still easy to do. All you need is a simple circuit tester to see what the story is.

Place or attach the clip end of your test light to the outer frame of the socket. You can just hold it there if it won’t clip on. Then take the long pointed end of the tester and stick it all the way into the socket until it touches the back.

Try not to touch the sides of the socket with the probe since it will blow a fuse. If the tester lights up, you’ve got juice. Be sure to try it with the ignition in the “on” position, since most 12-volt accessory plugs are switched on and off with the car.

If you get no light, it’s probably the fuse.

Otherwise, the culprit is either the socket itself or your accessory’s plug or charger. If your accessories check out, then you’re dealing with a short somewhere in the circuit. At this point, you can trace the wire to the socket to see if it’s become disconnected or loosened. If you can’t find the wire, or if it seems to be secure, then your next step is to take your car to your Car Diagnostic Tool for further investigation.

Replacing the Fuse

Dead fuses aren’t uncommon. They usually happen with age or by plugging in an accessory that draws too much power. Thankfully, replacing the fuse is an easy fix. Your owner’s manual should tell you where the fuse panel for your car is located, which in turn will indicate where you can find the fuse for the power socket. Make sure you replace it with one that has the same amperage.

If by chance the replacement fuse blows, then you’re looking at the possibility of one of the two problems outlined above: Bad accessory plugs or a short somewhere in the circuit.

Micropod 2 Clone on Chrysler WK & DS 2015

Reasons for the purchase:

All of the dealers in my area don’t seem to know what they are doing. No problem with either of my vehicles is solved on the first visit and I normally have to guide the dealer mechanics to find issues.

They are very nice but I honestly don’t have the time to teach them how to fix my vehicles. That’s why I wanna purchase a Chrysler wiTech MicroPod 2 interface but it is hard to justify the cost of the oem version for just my 2 Chrysler vehicles.

Purpose:
Purchase a Micropod clone with things like flash programming, general diagnostics, obd mode 8 stuff like abs bleeding

Budget:
I wouldn’t mind spending the $500 if the clone tool works, I just don’t want to be the guinea pig

Order and delivery:
I just ordered one Micropod clone off obd2tool.com
The kit is shipped directly from China and arrived for a few days.

Firmware:
The firmware that mine came with was v2.4.1.

Car(s):
I have a 2015 WK 3.6L (wife) and a 2015 DS 5.7L (me).

Micropod clone vs OEM:
The Micropod clone itself appears to be reasonably high quality but there are obvious differences from the OEM version: no lanyard, no wi-fi, no metal clip on the OBD 2 connector, etc.

Micropod clone problem:
The problem with the clones is that you can only use them with the old versions of the software that weren’t online, and they only go up to around 12MY or so. You also can’t do any sales code configuration or the like without a DealerCONNECT account.

wiTECH software installation:
I followed the directions that came with the kit (albeit in somewhat fractured English) and upon starting the wiTECH software, I got a “device with serial number XXX-XXXXX is not registered” error message.

The company that sold it to me said the copy of wiTECH was destroyed somehow and that I needed to buy a “wiTECH hdd” from them for a small additional fee. Not entirely sure what that would be but I worked around the problem before I got their reply. Long story short, I am a computer guy so I spent a couple of hours messing around with the software and the computer it was installed on and was able to get around the issue.

Micropod II + wiTECH tests:
I connected it to my 2015 DS and my wife’s 2015 WK with no issues. I disabled the side view mirror tilt in reverse on her WK (only thing she didn’t like about it) and she was thrilled. There are functions to bleed ABS, program tire sizes, etc. There are literally hundreds of sensor readings, dozens of tests, actuators and misc functions that you can perform that seem to be very vehicle specific – which you would expect. Every switch/gadget in the vehicle seems to have a corresponding sensor reading of some kind in the software. The only odd behavior I saw was when I connected to the ABS computer of my DS… the EVIC freaked out and started screaming to service the ABS. Maybe that is a safety feature of some kind so folks don’t go driving while messing with the ABS computer? Powering the vehicle off and on again made the ABS warning go away. I could not find any “PROXI alignment” functions – maybe they don’t apply to my vehicles?

I did not try flashing anything as I don’t have a good enough reason to sign up for a time-limited TechAuthority subscription at the moment but next time I do, I’ll give it a shot. At the very least, it will be nice to be able to go to the dealer next time and tell THEM which modules need updating (wiTECH lets you print an ECU report) because whatever point-of-sale software the advisors use doesn’t always tell them when an update is available. For example, my PCM is on an AE revision but TechAuthority said that AF is available (and has been since before my last dealer visit)

Your mileage may vary but this was $200 well spent in my eyes.

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Suggestion & more research:

I’ve done a considerable amount of research on this software and it appears that as of the 17.04.27 P4 patch level, the wiTECH 1.0 system has been EOL’ed for all CAN bus vehicles – forcing you to use the 100% web-based wiTECH 2.0.

If you decide to move forward with the Micropod clone, you will need to block the P4 update (or find a way to block the “diagnostic.js” file that does the check) or the software will kick you out seconds after opening the vehicle topography.

Once the update is blocked, it works fine – confirmed up to the 2015 MY.

Different between INPA and ICOM?

INPA just need a OBD II cable with any PC and it can run. Software can be download. The cable cost only $20 USD + cost of a laptop.For a ICOM Scanner, it need a software called ISTA. I know all the bmw model can be used with. The whole system cost around $400 USD + cost of laptop. Anyone know the different between them??? If I am just a user and do some simple work for my E60 M5 (SMG clutch teach-in) , look for error codes. Which one I should buy?

ICOM and GT1 are hardware. GT1 was the previous generation, then came ICOM, and now something called E-NET (I believe).

DIS, ISTA, and INPA are software. DIS was the first generation. ISTA is the replacement for DIS. INPA is software, but was designed for BMW engineer use, not dealerships and most dealerships don’t have it or any clue how to use it. Some of the other guys here can recommend a software set, it seems the place I got mine is no longer selling them either.

ICOM is probably best for me. It does work with 20-pin port “ADS” fully.

Regarding ADS another question/problem came in my mind. Afaik ADS is only supported by Ediabas 6.4.3 and 6.4.7. Is there any advise how to handle this? Or is the only way having 6.4.3 or 6.4.7 installed on one machine and 7.3.0 on another? Is it at all necessary to use a newer version than 6.4.3 of ediabas for newer cars? Currenty I run 7.3.0 because I do not have a ADS interface.

The old EDIABAS is for when using an actual physical ADS interface. Keep using 7.3.0, it will need to be configured as “remote” and you will have to input the IP address of the BMW ICOM A2.You will need 2 tools. iTool Radar to get IP of ICOM and Reserve ICOM (only for when you use INPA, WinKFP, NCSExpert, etc), and EasyConnect for easy configuration of your ediabas.ini file.

Bmw Icom A2 interface

Topic:

I have recently bought the new BMW Diagnostic Tool Icom A2 interface with Isid 3.1, Ista/d 2.36 and Ista/p 2.49.2 software and i would like to ask if anyone knows if it’s possible to connect wireless to the car’s obd without the LAN cable since it support’s WLAN option or what else needed to make it possible? The Icom A2 interface is a clone.

Replied by shawnsheridan

I don’t think any of the A1 ICOM Clones had WLAN card inside, and I would be surprised if A2 ICOM Clone did. If it does, I am pretty sure you need a special Access Point connected to ISIS Server to use WLAN mode.

Replied by TroyE60

Thanks mate for your answer. Actually the ICOM A2 supports Wireless lan. As you can see from the below pic which I have already uploaded (Icom A2 connected in my car’s obd slot) with the system light green (turn on – operational) it has 4 lights. One for communication, one for wireless lan, on for LAN (RJ 45) and one for the operation named system. I was wondering if there is some kind of emulator or something to “trick” the interface so it thinks it is connected on an ISIS server even running from VMware.

Autel Maxisys Elite vs Autel Maxisys MS908P

To compare this product with its rival brands, let’s take an example of Autel Maxisys Pro MS908p.

This Autel Maxisys Pro MS908P offers ECU coding, programming, and extensive coverage.

But, a few users have complained that it loses communication with the Audi and VW car models.

In addition, if you select an option, it will display — your vehicle doesn’t support this function. This scan tool also provides frequent connection errors.

Thus, you will eventually have an utterly disappointing and frustrating experience.

However, the main difference between the Autel Maxisys is the CPU. The CPU of the Autel Maxisys Elite is NVIDIA Tegra Quad-Core Processor 1.8GHz.

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While The Autel Maxisys Pro MS908p has the Samsung Exynos Quad-Core Processor 1.4GHz.

Thus, if you are looking for a reliable automotive scanner that’s worth your investment, then do not hesitate to buy Autel Maxisys Elite. This brilliant tool will always offer you a fast and excellent performance.

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But if you don’t care much about the speed ,Obd2 tool Autel Maxisys Pro MS908P is also a great choice for you.

Pros

Super fast diagnosis
Auto-Vin Technology
Battery Recharge
Extensive Vehicle Coverage
Smart Screen
Sufficient Storage Capacity
Autofocus Camera
Easy Printing
High-Level Configuration
DataLogging
Compact and Light
MaxiFix

Cons

The Maxisys Elite is not suitable for the low-end mechanics as the operational procedures are quite complicated. It mainly targets professionals in Auto-repairing and Garage Shops.
It is a high-end product and is not affordable to everyone who would want to use.

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