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The most obvious answer is a possible blown fuse in the cigarette lighter socket or the in the tip of the charger plug. Most charger plug fuses are accessed by unscrewing the metal tip. Check both for good fuses.
If this doesn't solve the problem, make sure the points of contact between the charger, cradle and GPS are all free of dirt and grime. Don't forget to vacuum the cigarette lighter socket - especially if it is used as a lighter, too.
Buy a adapter for your cigarette lighter socket that has multiple sockets with one that will fit the Garmin adapter. I've never heard of a problem you are having?? Are you using a Garmin plug? If not get one.
I have a 100v A/C power / charger unit for my garmin C340 GPS that I use to charge my Garmin's battery every day. I can use thj adapter to run the GPS, or just turn it off and let it charge the GPS. But it connects dirctly to the Garmin GPS unit, not to the cradle like the Cigarrette lighter unit does. .
Verify that the car cigarette lighter outlet is working. Do you have something that you could plug into the lighter like a light?
With the car running plug the Garmin into the cigarette lighter outlet. Does it come on without pushing the ON button? If the answer is no then there is either a problem with the cable or the cigarette lighter outlet. It should come on by itself if the lighter is working. Also are you using Garmin cables and DC adapter?