The cigarette lighter has many uses in a vehicle. It’s primary use when created was to light cigarettes, and looks like a cylindrical plastic cover with a wire element in it. When placed in it cigarette lighter receptacle it can be heated by pressing a button on the top of the cigarette lighter. When this is pushed, an electric current is passed through the lighter making it hot enough to burn. As the current is passed through the lighter, it’s held in place by a spring clip when the button is pressed. When the lighter is ready, it pops up and is able to be removed from the holder.
With smoking becoming less popular, the receptacle that held the cigarette lighter has been utilised for many other uses and is now used predominately as a 12 volt powered DC connector. This connector can be used to power a variety of devices from smart phones to sat nav systems, as well as being used as a means to operate handheld vacuum cleaners and tyre pumps.
In most cars there is a cigarette lighter receptacle in the front and rear of the vehicle for driver and passenger use.