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Think I discovered the source of (one of) the Jag's electrical issues

The Jag’s 12V accessory system (aka cigar lighters) have been randomly blowing fuses since I got it. They’ll work great for days, weeks, etc and then one day I’ll get nothing.

I’d finally resolved to check it out this weekend. The internet suggested melted wiring was the likely cause, so I’d need to figure out how to remove the lighter without having to disassemble half the car. It appears they’re able to be removed from the front if you can get the right leverage, so I enlisted a suite of pry and removal tools to assist.


While trying to get the center console port out, I noticed it had a feature the dash one did not. A weird little ring in the middle.

The more I stared at the ring, the more I could not figure out what it was for. Clearly it was meant to be there as it was perfectly centered and appeared to be made of the same stuff as the surrounding metal. It looked like it was extending the continuity of the center (+) pin... but to what end? I’ve never seen a 12V accessory that needed something like that.


Tentatively, I touched it. (heyo)

And it moved.

Illustration for article titled Think I discovered the source of (one of) the Jags electrical issues
Photo: Akio

It was just a random bit of metal that had fallen into the jack. Apparently it would stay centered most of the time, but occasionally decide to short something out based on the arc marks.

What is it? I have NO IDEA. The metal is too thin to be a ring but too thick to be part of some manner of packaging. Putting it on doesn’t turn me invisible either. I honestly can’t place where it might have come from or why it exists, but luckily it is no longer my problem.


And yes, I am fully aware that by declaring victory over this problem the Jag will either develop a new fault or this one will reoccur.

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