E30 Cigarette Lighter Retainer Clip
In true old-school BMW fashion, E30s were not equipped with cup holders. While not as much of a space hog, they were able to find a spot for a cigarette lighter (where you plug in your USB dock ;)) in the center console. While nearly every car ever made after WWII has one of these conveniences, the cigarette lighter retainer clip is somehow one of the weak points of the E30 interior.
It’s no secret that BMW tends to err on the side of over-engineering. True to form, the cigarette lighter, or more accurately, the cigarette lighter retainer clip, is a tiny, over-engineered piece of plastic, Even in the E30. It is a translucent amber, cylindrical plastic sleeve. Halfway around the circumference from each other, two clips protrude from the top ring and past the outer wall. The two clips hold the the canister to the ash tray assembly for inserting DC power adapters. Like much of the other plastic attached to these 80s legends, this little plastic clip becomes brittle and often disintegrates after 30+ years. The power port is then left to float around in the cavity between the console and the transmission tunnel.
At this point the port is resting on the two electrical leads at the bottom of the can. Because it is in the vicinity of the ash tray which most people fill with loose change, a coin can find its way underneath the cigarette lighter port, bridge the two leads and short the circuit – or worse… ask me how I know.
Printed in clear translucent PETG, the replacement cigarette lighter retainer clip from E30 Update has been engineered to be stronger than OEM. E30 Update now has an OEM style replacement if yours has cracked and dropped out of the ash tray. It is not amber like the original, so we recommend replacing the stock illumination with a red or amber LED replacement lighting.
If you prefer a stock console setup, this cigarette lighter retainer clip from E30 Update is a must. Installation is super breezy, and when installed, it provides a firm, like-new DC outlet experience. E30 owners no longer have to find random less than ideal solutions for plugging in a USB dock, or even a cigarette lighter!