How to Change a W202 12V Socket

The earth connection in my 12V socket/cigarette lighter socket had been worn away over the 23 years it’s been in the car.

I first tested the socket with a multimeter. It gave a consistent reading so it was just a case of the socket being worn and not making a good connection with the accessory plugged into it.

I ordered my new one from here:

Swapping the sockets over is a really easy job and won’t take you long. It can look intimidating to get the socket out though, so I thought I’d write this guide to help you through it.

You’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver and a small flat head screwdriver.

The 12V socket and ash tray are hidden behind that little door in the bottom of the centre console. To get to it we’ll have to take all the trim off that surrounds the gear stick. To make it easier for yourself, pop the car into neutral (or keep the car in neutral if a manual transmission)

That whole trim piece simply pries up and out. Open the little storage compartment behind the gear stick surround, get your fingers underneath the trim piece and pull up.

Once that’s out of the way we need to remove the little tray ahead of the gearstick. It just lifts up and out. It can be stiff so you may have to be a little persuasive. It will lift out though.

Lifting that out reveals the bottom two screws that hood the cigarette lighter socket and ash tray in place.

There are two more screws in the top of the tray above the ash tray.

With those screws removed the ash tray housing and storage compartment will all come away.

This is the back of the ashtray housing. You can see the back of the 12V socket, the ashtray light and the wiring harness for it all.

The female half of the plug is connected to the back of the ashtray housing. Pull it off and then remove the male half of the plug.

Pop the little light out of its socket whilst you’re here.

Now you’ll need to de-pin the female plug.

Each of the little connectors has a tiny metal tab that holds it into the plug. With your flat headed screwdriver you can run down the side of the connector and can push that tab in, allowing the connector to be removed from the plug.

The wires are marked 1,2,3 on the plug. Red/grey is 1, brown is 2 and black is 3.

With those removed you’ll be able to remove the old socket from its housing. I gave mine a push from behind and it came up and out.

You can now replace it with the new one. There is a little raised but on socket that fits into a groove in the housing. Make sure that lines up and it’ll just press in.

Putting everything back together is the same process reversed. Remember with the plug that Red/grey is 1, brown is 2 and black is 3.

Thanks for reading. I hope that this helped! If you would like to stay up to date with all my blog posts please subscribe to the blog via email (from the box at the bottom of the page).

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By Richard Francis

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