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auto electrical help (received)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TOLady, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. I'm pretty smart in a lot of areas, except this one.

    I've managed to drop a penny down into my AC/DC outlet (aka cigarette lighter). Even with the vehicle turned off and key removed, this still seems to be live (banged on the side and the penny sparked!! :eek: ). Is it OK to use needle nosed pliers with insulated handles to remove this without setting my hair on fire?? Unfortunately, the auto electric shop two blocks away is closed on Saturdays otherwise I'd just have those fine chaps risk this one!!

    Is this a "Sandi can do" or a "Sandi shouldn't"???
  2. Sandi, put some masking tape, or duct tape, or chewing gum, you get the point, "backwards" on the end of a straw or something non conductive. Go stick it on it.
    If you wanted to be careful, just disconnect the battery 1st. Worse case you'll blow the fuse.
    Dont use needle nose.
  3. Ahhhhh, smart cookie, Jim - I'll do that - chewing gum on the end of balsa chop stick!!! Yessss.... I know I could have disconnected the battery but the way this truck is set up, it's a lot of work and wanted a work around. Thanks so much for the fast and great reply!!!!!
  4. Some wax or gum on the end of a pencil will work fine and won't have any risk to you.

    If you can find the fuse box I'd pull the fuse for that circuit before proceeding.
    You may end up having to find it anyway if the extraction causes more sparking.

    Good luck.

  5. Gotta love this place - helpful folk who come up with time-honoured methods to help a gal out in time of need! Worked like a charm.... :biggrin:
  6. Cougar8045


    May 25, 2007
    I was going to suggest vacuum cleaner but I guess gum works too. :) 
  7. Cougar, another great idea. My brain always goes into "toolbox" mode, rather than idea mode at a time like that. I used to own a construction company so all problems and tasks were solved via the toolbox, tool truck, etc. I have telescoping magnets, I have long metal 'grabbers', etc. Thanks to the forum help, I've now added some chopsticks and sticks of gum to my toolbox! Sometimes the solutions are very simple but evade our brains in time of a bit of stress. I was scared if I left the penny in too long, it might cause a fire and there goes my new truck!! :eek: 

    If anyone else had any great ideas, throw them in so we all can keep these in the back of our minds.
  8. Sandi, did u get it out? Could also disconnect battery.
  9. If you pull the fuse FIRST, it won't matter what you use to extract the penny as the circuit will be dead (make sure the correct fuse is pulled). Usually a 20A or 30A fuse so it can produce a significant amount of heat 30Amps max X 12.5Volts = 375Watts.

    If you try the gum method before pulling the fuse and the penny arcs and heats up, you could have a mess of melted gum in the bottom of your lighter socket. Oh, the lighter socket should only be DC, to get AC you'd need an inverter plugged in. And you don't have to worry about electrical shock from a 12 or 13 volt system, the voltage is far too low to conduct through your outter flesh. Soft tissue such as your tounge WOULD however conduct enough to hurt you (probably burn your tounge) but you'd have to touch both the positive and negative to your tounge.
    Hope it works!
  10. Sandi, just for our records, and the newspaper, take a photo of your hair first and after to give us a good "before & after" for the album......just teasing, hope all went well
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