Honda Accord 1991 Cigarette Lighter Interesting problem/solution

Hey, all, I was working on my girlfriend's 1991 Accord and the cigarette lighter wasn't working. I tried the fuses but none were labeled as cig lighter in any fashion, under the hood or under the
dash. I did a search on the groups but got nowhere, as did my attempts to search Autozone's information on repair. I took part of the dash apart (mostly, really, the center console) and removed the cigarette lighter housing (breaking the ring in the proces (the lighter body unscrews from a cylinder behind the plastic so try that first)) and still had no power at the supply to the lighter (at any position of the key).
All other electrical circuits, of course (I checked them) were functioning properly, I checked every fuse I could find, but the lighter had no power. I checked the ground and it was good, I checked the connections and they seemed good.
I was about to trace the wire back to the panel when I looked more closely at the connector that goes to the back of the lighter and saw that it was more than a simple crimp connection to a slip connection to fit the rod at the back of the lighter. The plastic housing hinges and I opened it up to find that the supply wire has a crimp connection that holds a small leaf of metal that then goes down, backwards, at an angle to the actual slip connection that fits the back of the lighter. Where the leaf of metal hits the slip connection there is a junction (of course, they are two separate pieces of metal) and the connection is made by a solder joint. That solder joint had failed.
I'm not sure why Honda did it that way, but the joint must have gotten hot one time in the past and it melted the solder, breaking the connection. I soldered it back and it works great. She doesn't smoke (neither do I) so I never expect it to get hot again, problem solved.
I thought I'd post this since 1) it was a tricky problem to find and 2) it would normally seem like a fuse problem and since it was not it might save someone a lot of time fighting with fuses.
HTH.
--HC
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On 5 Nov 2006 10:43:41 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gte.net wrote:

Thanks, I have a 91 Accord so that may help someday. I don't smoke either, but I have quite a few gadets that use the lighter. In fact, I've seen adapters being sold to turn your single lighter into two or three!
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<see parent message for tip>

Thanks - I might tear into our cig. lighter again, knowing that. We bought XM radio last year, and I found our lighter to be dead while installing it. (This is also a '91 Accord.) After unsuccessfully trying to diagnose the problem, I ended up running another socket (from Radio Shack) to a power tap, and pushing the whole mess behind the dash. In truth, it was a little cleaner than having the adapter visible.
But now she has a cell phone!
-- R Flowers
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