Imagine you are back in the ‘80s. You need a cigarette. You can’t be bothered to fiddle with the key, so your cigarette lighter in your car needs to have power ALL THE TIME.

(Full disclosure: I bought a used 1988 BMW 535i. The Bavarians put a non-switched cigarette lighter in it originally, and I decided I don’t need it since I don’t smoke.)

Not the biggest project I’ll undertake on the E28, but I decided I wanted some USB power. I could have just bought an adapter, but since the inside of the socket looked pretty bad, I assumed the connection wouldn’t be good so I decided to replace it completely.

Before doing anything, I tested the leads (which were in good shape) and figured out it had power regardless of key position. With that I had two options - find another switched power source, or find a replacement with a switch.

Amazon to the rescue. I found this switched dual USB outlet, and the included power lead even has an in line 10A fuse. The circuit overall is on a 25A fuse, so I think that will work out.

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I’m still not great at taking pictures along the way, so I only have after pictures.

Here is is Off.

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Here is is On.

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Pretty happy overall, and I didn’t have to modify the socket at all. The old socket was glued in, and it pulled off without damaging the rest of the brittle plastic around it. The new one is threaded and has a plastic nut that secured it in place.