Automobile cigarette lighters are not often used for their original purpose due to the reduction of cigarette smokers. Lighter sockets can be used to power a wide variety of devices, however. In a Ford Ranger, the lighter socket supplies 12-volts DC with 25 amps, which is sufficient to operate a laptop computer, a GPS and a host of other 12-volt devices. If the lighter socket in your Ford Ranger is inoperable, you can easily replace it.
Check the fuse for the cigarette lighter to make sure that power is available at the plug. The fuse is located on the driver's side kick-panel fuse block. Replace the fuse if it is blown and retry the lighter.
Unplug the cigarette lighter socket by pulling the two wire connectors off the back of the lighter. The centre plug is the positive wire supplying power to the lighter. The plug on the side of the lighter is the ground. You can reach them easily from under the dash.
Remove the cigarette lighter socket. The cigarette lighter consists of two cylindrical metal tubes, one threading over the other. Both tubes have a lip, which is used to secure them to the dashboard. Use pliers to turn the tube behind the dash clockwise to thread it off the inside socket or tube. Once the tube is loose, thread it off the rest of the way by hand. When the tube is removed, the inside socket or tube can be withdrawn from the front of the dash.
Install the new cigarette lighter socket. First, unthread the two tubes of the new socket. Install the inside tube through the front of the dash. Thread the outside tube -- lip toward dash -- onto the back of the inside tube by hand. Thread it on as far as possible by hand, making sure it is tight enough to keep it from turning.
Install the two electrical connectors. Place the positive wire with the rubber connector on the centre post on the rear of the cigarette lighter. Plug the remaining wire on the post located on the backside of the lighter.