Does Tesla Model 3 Have Cigarette Lighter? Answer Explained

By Zac Ludicrous •  Updated: 01/15/22 •  5 min read

Did you know that a simple cigarette lighter issue on the Model 3 is fueling a big question among Model 3 owners, including those who are interested in owning this beautiful car?

This is because the Model 3 has no cigarette lighter receptacle. However, it comes with a 12V power socket where owners connect a cigarette lighter socket and light up their cigarettes.

Read on to find out whether you should connect one or not.

Cigarette Lighter Outlet vs Tesla 12V Power Socket

A cigarette lighter outlet is standard for most traditional vehicles. It is round and can be activated only when something is plugged into it. 

It is not only for cigarette lighters but also for charging gadgets. All you need is an adaptor that is widely available like this Ainope Fast Mini Car Charger.

does tesla model 3 have cigarette lighter
Cigarette lighter and outlet. Credit to Quora

On the other hand, the 12V power socket located at the center console’s rear compartment is the only outlet in the Model 3 where you can connect the cigarette lighter socket assembly. 

It is also round but needs a three-leg adaptor if you want to connect any gadget like mobile phones.

Credit to Quora

It usually serves as a charging port for phones and other 12V devices, but connecting a cigarette lighter socket assembly is possible – but is it recommended? Let’s find out.

Is It Safe to Connect a Cigarette Lighter Socket to the 12V Outlet?

The power outlet in the Model 3 is fused for safety purposes. 

Unlike fossil-fueled cars, Tesla uses e-fuses, which are integrated into the circuits. If an e-fuse to an outlet detects too much current or voltage, it will quickly adjust the flow of electricity to a safe range. 

This means that you will be able to safely plug a cigarette lighter assembly socket into the 12V power outlet. 

If the e-fuses trip, they will not damage other electronic systems. You may need to power cycle to restore the power. This cycling procedure is described in your Model 3 manual.

However, consider Tesla’s warnings before connecting a cigarette lighter socket to the Model 3’s 12V power outlet.

Currently, there is no aftermarket cigarette lighter that is officially supported by Tesla. 

Although there are cigarette lighter sockets sold on Amazon that claim to work with 12V outlets, do it with caution and at your own risk.

The risk of damaging (or permanently odorizing) the upholstery increases when someone smokes inside the car. 

Several organizations also recommend not buying a used car previously owned by smokers as thirdhand smoke can be damaging. 

If you are planning to sell your Model 3 in the near future, consider this before you smoke inside your car.

I Don’t Want to Connect a Cigarette Lighter to the 12V Outlet But Need a Lighter. Do I Have Safer Options?

Yes, I hear you, and I understand your concern. After weighing the above facts and considerations, you may not want to mess with your Model 3’s 12V power outlet but still need a cigarette lighter. 

Obviously, a match is not an option. A conventional butane-fueled lighter is not either. But it’s not the end of the world.

Fortunately for you, Tesla Coil Lighters address this concern. 

does tesla model 3 have cigarette lighter
Image credit: YouTube screengrab

The company produces a USB rechargeable windproof arc lighter that can be used without producing flames. It is USB-charged, so you don’t need to make alterations to your 12V power outlet. 

It’s the first product I’d recommend you give a try.

The lighter itself is safe, but smoking inside your car is still not recommended.

And if you ever do, consider lowering the windows so you can avoid blowing all the smoke inside the car. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Model 3 12V Power Outlet always active even when the car is not in use?

Technically, the Model 3’s 12V power outlet is active when the car is not in use—but only if Sentry Mode is on.

Though we suggested a standalone lighter, if you buy a cigarette lighter that connects on the Model 3’s 12V power socket, make sure you don’t leave it connected.

Why? Precisely because Model 3 owners suggest that this power socket delivers a continuous supply when Sentry Mode is on. 

And although the vehicle has safety mechanisms to avoid issues, it’s better to play it safe. 

Besides, leaving anything connected could slightly impact battery consumption.

What Other Gadgets Can I Possibly Plug Into the 12V Power Outlet?

There are hundreds of electronic devices compatible with the Model 3’s 12V outlet.

In general, owners use this to recharge small gadgets like GoPro action cameras and appliances like car vacuums.

Just remember though that the bigger the gadget, the more power and energy it needs, so you must always consider your car’s battery capacity.

If the device requires more than 12V to function properly, though, I’d suggest you never plug it in in the first place.

Conclusion: Does Tesla Model 3 Have Cigarette Lighter

The Tesla Model 3 has no cigarette lighter like traditional vehicles or a socket dedicated to a cigarette lighter, but lighting up is possible with the right adaptor. 

Although installing a cigarette lighter into your Model 3 12V outlet is possible, it is in your best interest to ignore this idea and go with Tesla Coil Lighters instead. 

Not only is it safer, but making alterations in your car that are not supported by Tesla could void your warranty.

Zac Ludicrous

Mechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.

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