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Using a small+very thin long flatblade screwdriver I was able to remove the entire sliding ashtray/lighter assembly out of my '95 Avalon.* It wasn't that difficult at all--just start on the left side first and then the right. Insert the screwdriver in just above the track on the side of the sliding ashtray assembly (where the sliding action occurs) and with a light prying motion move the screwdriver handle to the left [when doing the left side] while at the same time using your other hand to gently pull outward [toward you] on the left front of the ashtray/lighter assembly. After the ashtray/lighter assembly pops out just slightly, repeat this process on the right side and move the screwdriver handle to the right with a light prying motion to get the right side of the astray/lighter assembly to pop out slightly. When this "gives" on the right side all you have to do then is gently pull the center of the astray/lighter assembly out [towards the rear of the car]. Again, gentleness is important here--if you don't like torn up/broken trim/assemblies etc.
Anyway, after pulling the astray/lighter assembly I was able to see that the back end of the cigarette lighter socket was connected to the wire that is supposed to supply power. Now if I just had the VOM I left in my Blazer that died .... I'll get another VOM and check and see if this powerwire has juice--if it does, there is an open in the wire down to the socket or the connection at the socket is bad or the socket needs replacing--it's just a matter of tracing it down at this point. I will be DELIGHTED to have a working cig lighter again so my Nuvi will work and I can charge my iPhone......
*before you begin you may want to maximize your working space by taking the car out of park and moving the gear selector [presuming you have a floor shift!] down to "1". Of course you will want to /apply the parking brake/chock wheels first if you are any kind of incline or think the car might roll [ALWAYS THINK SAFETY FIRST!].
Last edited by NRecob; 02-05-2010 at 10:48 AM.