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Vanagon Lighter plug

The Vanagon lighter plug has always us because it was loose. Even after installing a new plug it still felt loose when you pulled out an accessory. Searching the Internet gave us few clues about how to solve this problem. Some people have tried adhesive, or clamps behind the dash, but none of the suggestions seemed right.

We finally found the fix, courtesy of our friend Joel. By removing the plug assembly and placing an O-ring around the outer green assembly, the problem is solved. The O-ring sits behind the dash and keeps the lighter plug in place. Ideally, the plug should have a threaded nut behind the dash instead of clips, but the O-ring is a nice substitute for the nut. Hit the jump for more the rest of the fix.

lighter plug 2

First we removed the glove box and pulled the lighter.

IMG_2209
We placed the outer green assembly back in the dash, then maneuvered the O-ring into place. The picture above shows the O-ring going on as a test, outside the dash.

We put the assembly back in the dash and maneuvered the O-ring in place. Then we installed the inner assembly, plugged it back in and it wored. The lighter is tight and there is no wiggle room. Perfect!


  • tiny

    what size o ring?

  • I went to the wrecking yard and used some lighter/charging ports from a later model Subaru, easy peasy even has a cap over the plug hole looks like it was made to go there. The VW ones seem to not be as deep to hold the plug so it works out even better.

  • Mark Belanger

    How did you manage to get the unit out? I have a ’91 and it seems like you need to effectively destroy it to remove it.

  • VHacks

    There is a plug that you remove and then it comes out. You don’t have to destroy it to remove it.

  • Mark Belanger

    Thanks for the comment, VHacks, but I don’t understand. I’ve managed to pull the power plug off the stock cigarette lighter adapter, but don’t see any threaded nut to unscrew. Are you referring to an after-market unit or the stock cigarette lighter housing?

  • VHacks

    There is no screw. It’s a plastic lock. See this article: http://www.vanagonauts.com/Cigarette-Lighter-R&R211.htm




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