Cigarette Lighter Adapter in Europe


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Sep 25, 2007
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I just got an American TomTom One and loaded an extra Italy map for a coming vacation. The unit came with a car cigarette lighter power adapter. Will this work in European cars?
Thanks, Joseph
 
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Sep 15, 2007
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Lighter in Old Homeland

I just got an American TomTom One and loaded an extra Italy map for a coming vacation. The unit came with a car cigarette lighter power adapter. Will this work in European cars?
Thanks, Joseph
They sure will work.All cars even in "old" Europe have 12 V Batteries.So just plug it in and enjoy.

Grry from PA
 
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Aug 24, 2007
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Actually, you may want to be careful with this.

MOST cars have 12v, some older diesels have 24v systems.

Also, older British cars sometimes used to have a positive ground (rather than the "standard" negative ground. ("Ground" is on the side of the cigarette lighter, with "power" at the tip).

I would imagine anything recent is 12 volt, negative ground - but may want to be careful with older cars.
 
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an we got them new fangled light thingys that dont need matches too!!!:eek:
we dont live in the stone age in europe you know, and all modern cars are -ve earth
 
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Thanks All

Thanks for your varied responses. I'll be driving a recent-make rental car, but it's interesting to know that vintage cars might pose a problem.
 
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May 27, 2008
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Is it true that most modern European cars have a slightly different size cigarette lighter plug than American cars? I have an American TomTom that I hope to use in a rental car in Europe and was wondering if I need some sort of an adapter for the different cigarette lighter plug sizes.

Thanks
 
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The plug size is the same. I've had no difficulties with cars that I've rented in France (a Renault and a VW).
 
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Is it true that most modern European cars have a slightly different size cigarette lighter plug than American cars? I have an American TomTom that I hope to use in a rental car in Europe and was wondering if I need some sort of an adapter for the different cigarette lighter plug sizes.

Thanks
This is no longer the case. All cars use a standard "cigar" lighter now.

The older 12V outlet (long gone since the early 80s) was a German design, it was used in part for BMW motorcycles so a rider could plug in an electric vest.

To my knowledge, this is the only format that design still uses.

BMW cars do not use it.

Here is what it looks like.

 
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Sep 13, 2008
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Opel Astra

I drive a '95 Opel Astra over here in Italy and the cigarette lighter adapter DOESN'T fit. It seems like the socket is too short to accomadate it. :mad:

I'm trying to find a solution though, so I'll post if I find something out.
 

Arno

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Thanks for your varied responses. I'll be driving a recent-make rental car, but it's interesting to know that vintage cars might pose a problem.
You'll find some vintage cars in the States with 6 V systems too.

No matter, renting a car in Europe will give you the standard outlet for your TomTom. Just had that on a Renault Megane and Ford Focus in the UK and a couple of years back on a Mazda 6 in Germany.
 
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You'll find some vintage cars in the States with 6 V systems too.
You beat me to it. I had an uncle who had a 1954 Pontiac with 6V and think it was the last year with such. He had all kinds of electrical addons on his old Buick (193x) and wanted to keep using them and somewhat felt urged to change that year so he could keep using them. He kept his Pontiac until the early 1970 with very low mileage and sold it to a vintage car lover. I've never known a more conservative man. He would never throw something away even if it was broken because maybe it could be used for spare parts in a few decades... When he died at 83 in 1984, his basement was completely filled with ?stuff?: 45 year old dandelion wine bottles, 60 year old pharmaceutical ingredients, his wedding suit etc.
 
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I spent a few years in England in the mid-to-late 90s...At that time, the UK socket was slightly larger than the US plug. I remember wedging a folded-up piece of paper next to the plug to hold it in place.
 
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"78 VW camper with old German style cigarette/charger

This is no longer the case. All cars use a standard "cigar" lighter now.

The older 12V outlet (long gone since the early 80s) was a German design, it was used in part for BMW motorcycles so a rider could plug in an electric vest.

To my knowledge, this is the only format that design still uses.

BMW cars do not use it.

Here is what it looks like.

Hi!

I just bought a replacement "harp-mobile" since my previous VW van that I used to transport my 6' pedal harp, met an untimely death by fire due to faulty wiring by a new mechanic. Imagine my surprise when I couldn't find a standard cigarette/charger in my "new" vintage van in which to plug my GPS and other electronic devices!

I was told that one port on the dash WAS a cigarette lighter, but evidently it is the older, smaller German variety. The vehicle is in beautiful shape with only only 79,000 miles on it since it was only used by a sweet little old lady (not from Pasaden.... but not far from there!) for her camping trips, so I hate to have extra holes gouged into the dashboard. I'm looking for an after-market AC/DC/USB plug I can have wired into an inconspicuous place under the seat.

Needless to say, I want whatever mechanic to be VERY careful about any wiring, so meanwhile, I'm wondering if there is an adaptor that will allow me to use the older German style cigarette lighter with my new gadgets that require the standard cigarette lighter. The van IS 12 volt, and has an additional battery for use when the van is parked.

Thanks in advance to anyone who is familiar with these things and might have solution!
 
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Jan 20, 2010
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european vs american cigarette lighter sockets

My 2000 Audi TT apparently has eurppean type lighter socket "B". A current Garmin GPS plug made for american socket "A" keeps falling out . Wickipedia says that the european socket is slightly larger than the US. Audi says recent Audis are OK, but don't offer a "fix" cff
 

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