“The cigarette power plug does not fit in my Garmin 496, 396, or 296 unit.”
This is a not-so-uncommon problem found with the Garmin cigarette power adapters, especially the adapters that have the built-in speaker. The female portion of the plug, located on the GPS unit, has two different sized channels. There is a key on the top of the cigarette adapter plug and a different size key on the bottom that allow the plug to slide into these channels. The problem occurs when the height of the keys on the plug are greater than the channels on the unit.
Sometimes the plug will not fit what-so-ever, and other times excessive force will allow it slide in. Forcing it in will enable the unit to work properly, however, another problem is almost sure to occur when it’s time to disconnect the plug: The plug will pull apart leaving part of the plug still in the unit. Note: If this has happened to you, I recommend contacting Garmin before purchasing a replacement plug. Everyone I’ve spoken to with this problem said that Garmin replaced the plug at no charge.
The easiest way to fix this problem is by making the height of the keys on the plug smaller. This can be done either by using a file, razor blade or knife. Since the amount that needs to be removed is minimal, usually a file is sufficient. Make sure you file down both of the keys (top and bottom) until the plug slides snugly into the unit without using excessive force.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them or call us at 888-280-9272.