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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 10-26-2014, 08:40 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Burlington Mass
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**E46 DYI: How to make Cigarette Charger turn ON/OFF with ACC**

Hi All,
I have got several useful tips and tricks from this forum. But for the Cigarette Charger always on issue I was not able to find any got fix. The one's I found were very dangerous hack-job driving both the cigarette charger and radio off of the 5Amp fuse. I set out to find a better solution without spending too much. Below is the solution I came up with. This solution maintains the two separate circuits for Radio and charger with their respective fuses.

Diclamer: I do not take any responsibility if you screw up and anything on your car is damaged. This tutorial merely documents the steps I followed to get the fix working on my 2005 E46. If your car is any other year I strongly recommend verifying the fuse board layout is similar to 2005 E46 before you proceed.

Things you will need.

1. Add a Circuit ATC Fuse-TAP

2. A donor fuse to to extract a spade connector
3. Digital Multimeter

1. Remove the 5Amp fuse from position 7. Start the car and verify the Radio does not turn ON. Keep the Fuse Aside. Refer to the Fuse placement chart under the fuse board if the Radio turns on after you start the car.
2. Now remove the 20Amp fuse from position 47. Verify the cigarette charger does not work anymore. Keep this aside.
Refer to the Fuse placement chart under the fuse board if the cigarette charger still works.

3. Now place the 5Amp fuse in the bottom row of the fuse tap and the 20Amp fuse on the top row of the fuse tap. See pic below.

4. Now break the donor fuse to yield a connector as shown below

5. Trim the non spade end of the connector so that it can be inserted on the wire end of the fuse tap.Make sure it is set in firmly.

6. Using a set of pliers crimp the wire end to make the spade connector set in place. Pull the spade connector with some force and make sure the spade connector does not fall out or move too much.

7. Now place the fuse tap in position 7 and the wire with spade connector on the top end on position 47. *********Make sure you dont plug it in the lower end as that is always +12V ********* Doing so might damage the switching circuit when you start the car*******

8. Now start your car or put the key in ACC position and verify the Radio and the Charger turn ON. Turn your car off and the charger should turn of as well.

9. Now carefully tuck the wire in a good position and lock the fuse board back in place. Verify again by starting your car that it works and nothing was unplugged when you put the fuse board back in place.

You should be all set


Last edited by psuryava81; 10-26-2014 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 03-31-2015, 11:10 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Bay area, CA
Posts: 2
My Ride: 2002 330ci Vert
Worked, great, thanks!
Instead of using a disassembled fuse, I crimped a spade connector to the end of the wire coming off the fuse tap. Works like a charm.
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:50 AM   #3
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Great idea, so much easier/cleaner than tapping into the radio power or running a new wire
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Old 04-18-2015, 11:22 AM   #4
invisible man
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You bought a fuse tap but you couldn't buy friggin spade connector?
Giubo. G I U bo. Pronounced joo-boh. Don't allow yourself to sound ignorant.
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:27 PM   #5
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Thanks psuryava81, worked like a charm, freakin awesome !!!

see one, do one, teach one
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Old 07-09-2015, 02:40 AM   #6
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This was super helpful, thanks!
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Old 07-22-2015, 01:35 PM   #7
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Worked like a charm. Thank you...
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:06 PM   #8
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Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
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Did mine today. I am very happy I finally don't have to remember to unplug my GPS!!

The "hardest" part of this easy MOD is to get the spade out of the donor fuse. @invisible_man: I don't see why I would buy a spade connector when I have so many spare fuses lying around. Besides, the spade connector won't necessarily connect any better to the fuse-TAP wire.

One uncertainty I had was the fuse-TAP also had a rating. I only saw 10 amp and 30 amp at my local Advance Auto Parts and I bought the 10 amp one. Not sure it matters if I only use it for GSP and cell phones.

Last edited by fifty2weekhi; 09-01-2015 at 08:23 PM.
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Old 10-30-2016, 02:01 PM   #9
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: England
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My Ride: 330i
i did it

It took me two calls to my breakdown cover to realise that my insurance tracker + reverse camera's display (two in one rear view mirror) actually do not turn off when i lock the car.
Each time i thought the newly bought (2nd hand) 330i 2004's battery is aged. 2nd time i took it to halfords and they did the free health check and told me its in perfect health. i turned my attention to the costlier possibility of alternator being faulty but thankfully that also was confirmed by Halfords guy to be all fine.

then i realized that the cigarette lighter socket doesnt actually turn off when i take the key out of ignition. i have looked everywhere for a solution but This thread was a life saver. I did exactly as explained used another fuses' leg which i think is the only suitable form of connection in the glove box.

i have tested it and its working as expected. However, i do have a question if anyone can answer. Can this be wired to work only when the car is ON (engine is running)?
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Old 11-09-2016, 09:37 AM   #10
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My Ride: '03 Franken325i/330i
I'm doing this, in order to go with this:

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2003 325i 5-speed
MS45.1 to MS43 converted
My S52 E46 swap thread

Last edited by VladBelsky; 11-09-2016 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:54 PM   #11
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Location: Austin, TX
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My Ride: 2000 BMW 323CI
This was very useful to me. Thanks!!!

I used this to connect to the 'Circuit ATC Fuse-TAP'. It was pretty hard to crimp it in firmly. It came off first couple of times I tried.


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