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Old 28th December 2011, 20:46   #1
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Default Cigarette lighter sockets: How to deal with differing standards

I have an in-car-inverter that fits in a cigarette lighter socket in Wagon R.

I wanted to now move it to Tata Safari's cigarette lighter socket. But it doesn't fit there. So on enquiring around I realize the following points:

1. According an accessory dealer, only Tata cars follow a different size cigarette lighter and majority of the accessories are compatible with the size used by non Tata cars.

2. Accessory dealer tells that for Rs 300 or so he can replace Safari's cigarette lighter socket with the other standard.

3. Tried looking for a "size adapter" that will help me adapt this socket with the other size. Did not find one with accessory shops or on web.

4. TASS folks say they will make an inverter that fits in Safari's socket available, though they quote something like 2400/- for that. I bought my current inverter for 1/3rd of that.

Any idea about what the inverter price should be (of unit compatible with Tata cars)? I want to use it for mobile charging and occasionally for laptop.

5. TASS also says, don't replace the cigarette lighter because it will require cutting the wires etc when fitting it.

6. An afterthought: I am not too sure whether such modification would void my warranty in any way.

So, shall I ignore TASS advise and get an after market fitment of socket that seems to be compatible with most devices OR avoid touching the wiring and buy a new inverter compatible with Tata's cigarette lighter socket?


PS: Yet another problem with Safari's front row socket position is that it is too close to the gear lever's bottom part. I'm not too sure whether the inverter would fit there without obstructing gear lever.

I'd prefer to use the socket in the front row, though there is one in second row also, because I attach my GPS equipped mobile, fixed in a mobile holder, to it.
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Old 29th December 2011, 09:29   #2
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Default Re: Cigarette lighter sockets: How to deal with differing standards

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Originally Posted by mayuresh View Post
4. TASS folks say they will make an inverter that fits in Safari's socket available, though they quote something like 2400/- for that. I bought my current inverter for 1/3rd of that.

5. TASS also says, don't replace the cigarette lighter because it will require cutting the wires etc when fitting it.

6. An afterthought: I am not too sure whether such modification would void my warranty in any way.
4. Rs 2400/- is day light robbery. It costs about Rs 100 or so in any electronics shop.

5. It doesnt require cutting of any wire as the lighter has connectors in the back side. One can simply pull out the connector from the old socket and fix them on to the new one.

6. As there is no need to cut a wire, I dont think it will affect the warranty.
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Old 29th December 2011, 11:27   #3
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Default Re: Cigarette lighter sockets: How to deal with differing standards

Wow... this is the first i'm hearing of this different sized lighter socket ever.

I wonder if one of their part suppliers just messed up and made the socket too small!?

Regardless of the above, it seems like they are now treating it like a proprietary connector and therefore locking the customer in to only buying their accessories?

Solutions :
1) Replace the socket with a regular sized one. The only issue here is the quality of the fabrication work done when mounting it. If you do a good job, the service center wont even notice the change.

2) Make your own connector/adapter wire that has the small tata plug on one end, and a standard sized socket on the other.

cya
R
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Old 29th December 2011, 11:37   #4
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Default Re: Cigarette lighter sockets: How to deal with differing standards

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Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
2) Make your own connector/adapter wire that has the small tata plug on one end, and a standard sized socket on the other.
Yes. I'd ideally like that. Would it be available somewhere OTS or any DIY tips for that?
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Old 29th December 2011, 11:44   #5
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Default Re: Cigarette lighter sockets: How to deal with differing standards

I have used several accessories on my Indica and never once faced a problem. Some of the accessories are brought from the US, and some in India, and so I am very reluctant to believe that Tata follows a different standard.

Perhaps, the vendor of the inverter did not follow the correct standard, and probably tested only on a Maruti!

However, as to solving your problem, i too like the option 2 by Rehaan. Any good auto electrical shop should be able to make such a connector. Ensure that the connections are soldered and insulated well, so that there is no chance of a possible short circuit.

The other option is to see if something like this will help:
3Way Socket Car Cigarette Lighter Splitter led Adapter | eBay
Of course, there is no guarentee that this will help - but if it is available at a local shop, you can give it a try.
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Old 29th December 2011, 12:23   #6
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Default Re: Cigarette lighter sockets: How to deal with differing standards

Even I highly doubt this since I have also been using it in my Indica Vista since quite some time. It directly went from my old car (Zen) into the New Vista, no need for any modifications or what so ever. Check if you can use it in any other vehicle.
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Old 29th December 2011, 12:51   #7
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Default Re: Cigarette lighter sockets: How to deal with differing standards

May be Indica uses the "more standard" one. The accessory dealer uttered some names like Safari, Indigo etc. Not sure whether he meant all Tata cars. But he knew for sure that some of the Tata cars use a different standard.

I have 2/3 gadgets that fit fine in socket that I have in Wagon R. None of them fits in either of Safari's sockets.
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Old 29th December 2011, 14:02   #8
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Default Re: Cigarette lighter sockets: How to deal with differing standards

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Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Wow... this is the first i'm hearing of this different sized lighter socket ever.

I wonder if one of their part suppliers just messed up and made the socket too small!?
I am also amazed. In driving and owning cars with lighter sockts since 1987 this is the first time I heard of this. In fact I rented a Manza in April and was able to plug in my car fridge into the lighter socket on the rear parcel shelf.

I agree that quite likely the supplier messed up.

Slightly OT, why do all stereos have different wiring code, even though the one in the back of the unit has some DIN specs?!
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Old 29th December 2011, 16:46   #9
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Default Re: Cigarette lighter sockets: How to deal with differing standards

I feel your car inverter plug might be of a different size. I bought a car emergency light from Ford (it is listed in their website as an accessory) and its plug doesn't snugly fit in my Ikon's lighter socket. It works but I need to juggle it a few times. But all my other chargers etc fit properly into the same socket.

Last edited by Jaguar : 29th December 2011 at 16:48.
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Old 14th January 2012, 00:18   #10
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Default Re: Cigarette lighter sockets: How to deal with differing standards

It seems the plug that Safari uses is called "merit plug" whose size is slightly smaller than standard cigarette lighter. Apparently merit plug is becoming "standard" in European cars.

There are adapters available to use cigarette lighter sized devices with merit plug - but not sure where to get them locally.

E.g.:
Merit Plug with Cigarette Lighter Socket Adaptor - Jaycar Electronics
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Old 14th January 2012, 08:15   #11
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Default Re: Cigarette lighter sockets: How to deal with differing standards

I had this issue with my Palio. I bought one mobile charger and it just doesn't fit in the socket. It was one of those cheap charger and i thought the charger was the culprit, but the shop keeper insisted that it went in all the vehicles. After that I have used different kinds/makes of plugs and did not have any issue. So, it looks like there are two different sizes.

Last edited by bejoy : 14th January 2012 at 08:19.
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Old 14th January 2012, 09:01   #12
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Default Re: Cigarette lighter sockets: How to deal with differing standards

An adapter between two sizes is available but unfortunately only in Australia - as far as web search goes. Anyone knows any sellers who are good at making such arcane things available - preferably in Pune or Mumbai?
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Old 15th January 2012, 12:59   #13
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Default Re: Cigarette lighter sockets: How to deal with differing standards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Wow... this is the first i'm hearing of this different sized lighter socket ever.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
I am also amazed. In driving and owning cars with lighter sockts since 1987 this is the first time I heard of this.
Hi, Two sizes, but these differ by only 0.5 mm.
I guess the male plug is therefore made to the smaller (to be universal) size. Which is probably why some adapters are unable to maintain position, having a habit of popping out every few minutes.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 15th January 2012, 20:45   #14
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Default Re: Cigarette lighter sockets: How to deal with differing standards

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Hi, Two sizes, but these differ by only 0.5 mm.
I guess the male plug is therefore made to the smaller (to be universal) size. Which is probably why some adapters are unable to maintain position, having a habit of popping out every few minutes.
Rather than attempted to made universal, I'd think the devices you are referring to are compatible with the smaller size and just somehow fit in the larger one.

If they are made for the larger one they don't fit in the smaller one. (The problem that I am facing with an existing inverter with larger size and new car with smaller socket.)
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