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An all-new Passat, based on the Volkswagen Group B5 platform, was launched in 1998 in North America.

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Convert always on lighter sockets to switched?

I have a 2004 VW Passat wagon, it has four (cigarette lighter) power outlets. Two in the cargo area in the back, on on the back of the arm rest for the rear seat passengers, and the lighter outlet in front. All of them are powered on all the time, even when the car is off, and the keys are removed.

I suppose this was seen by VW as a convenient way to allow smokers to light up, and run accessories without needing the to get in and turn the key. The life of today's active geek with lot's of portable electronics, GPS, etc. This is not the most desirable configuration.

I'd like to figure out how it would be possible to convert any one of the four outlets to be switched to the ignition key. Any tips, hints, or better yet specific instructions would be most appreciatd.

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Great question! You'd want to dig up a wiring diagram.


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This is the only way to tie the lighter sockets to the ignition that I can think of.

  1. Find a good wiring diagram for your vehicle and locate the hot wire to the lighters.
  2. Cut that wire where you can easily reach it.
  3. Find the wire to the accessory position of your ignition switch.
  4. Run a wire from the lighters to the accessory wire and connect it.

Be advised the load on the accessory line will be increased and could present a fire hazard or blow fuses but this would cause the lighters to be switched on and off with the ignition. Personally I would not do it for the reasons stated.

A far better idea in my opinion would be to cut the line to the lighters and insert a toggle switch. This would allow switching without the risk of fire and blowing fuses.

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Perhaps a relay between the accessory (ignition switch) wire and the lighters?


Yes a relay could work. Use the line from the accessory line to activate the relay providing power to the lighters instead of a toggle switch. The main advantage would be no input required from the operator. Ralph


The other advantage is that the lighter are still fused like they were before. Another less invasive method would be this:


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1.)unplug the defrost switch>find a wire that only comes on when you have the key on>wire a relay to that switch using power from the battery> set up a couple more relays depending on how many outlets you want to convert>find the power wire going into the outlets you want to convert>splice power wires from said relays into power wires from said outlet.

2.)enjoy your new switched cigarette lighter outlets



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The easiest way would probably just to unplug the accesories. I can see how this would be a problem if you have kids or accesories in the back but of you only have like a gps, radar detector, cell phone charger, etc in the front it would probably be eaiser to just unplug them instead of rewiring

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Steve Feinstein will be eternally grateful.
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