Check Your Fuse Box First.
Editor’s Note: This blog and information have been updated as of October 2021.
Do you have a persistent problem in your car that won’t go away even after you have seemingly completed the necessary repairs? For example, will an interior light still not come on after you have replaced the bulb? Will your horn suddenly not blow for some unknown reason? Are you still experiencing electrical problems although you replaced your battery? We may have the answer.
If you’re experiencing similar issues, you may be skipping a commonly overlooked, but very important, component of your vehicle: The fuse box. If a repair is performed and the problem is still occurring, turn to the fuse box
Be sure to check your fuse box early in your troubleshooting to avoid any unnecessary maintenance. This is an important component to inspect before you call your local mechanic or visit a nearby auto repair shop. With a little investigation and the right information, you might be able to solve the problem quickly on your own—without even leaving your driveway or getting your hands dirty!
What is a fuse box?
Your fuse box controls the performance and function of a variety of car parts, from basic headlights and dashboard illumination to more complex features like your car’s horn and parking brake. A fuse is a type of resistor with fairly low resistance that protects your electrical circuits from becoming overloaded, much like the fuses found in your breaker box inside your home.
What happens when a fuse blows?
When a fuse blows, the element in the fuse melts and breaks the circuit to discontinue the current flow. Without the fuse, any type of short in your car’s wiring would overheat, melt, and possibly cause a fire. Whatever accessory that is hooked to this fuse may begin to malfunction or cease operation completely.
Let’s say, for example, one of your car’s lightbulbs stopped working. You go replace the light bulb, but still, nothing happens when you turn it on. This probably means that the fuse associated with that light has been blown.
While blown fuses are typically a simple and minimal inconvenience, such as not allowing the radio or lights to work, they can also impair numerous parts and even prohibit your vehicle from moving entirely! One simple electrical malfunction in your vehicle can have ripple effects across the board.
Where is my fuse box?
The modern car can have several fuse boxes. Your fuse box is most often located near the bottom of your dashboard below the steering wheel or underneath the hood of your car. When you suspect a problem, open your fuse box; most fuse boxes include a cover that will pop off easily. You’ll find a diagram of the fuse box inside your owner’s manual or on the box itself, which will help you determine which fuse to look at depending on what kind of issue you’re facing in your car.
How Do I Test My Car’s Fuse Box?
To test your fuse box and determine if it’s the root of your electrical frustrations, the best place to begin is with a simple visual inspection. Using the fuse box diagram found labeled on the box or in the vehicle’s manual, locate the fuse in question. Easily remove the fuse for a closer look.
Helpful Tip: Most individual fuses can be removed by hand, although some may require a pair of tweezers, needle nose pliers, or specialty tools to remove.
When you hold the fuse to the light, you should keep your eye out for a thin metal wire. If you notice any breaks or damage in this wire, you were right – it’s time to replace the fuse.
You can also test your car’s fuse box by using a test light. These test lights allow you to probe unknown fuses, seeing if there is a power running through them. If both sides light upon the test light, your fuse is good. If not, it’s time for a replacement!
How Do I Replace a Fuse?
To replace the damaged fuse, simply remove the broken fuse and insert a new one of the same type and amp rating.
While replacing a blown or broken fuse is a simple fix that saves you time and money, there may be underlying factors that cause your fuse to blow in the first place. If you have been routinely blowing fuses, this should be a sign of concern.
Schedule An Electrical Problem Inspection
When in doubt, turn to the experts. At Christian Brothers Automotive, our team of friendly and knowledgeable auto mechanics is available to answer any of your fuse related questions, as well as deliver exceptional service.
When you visit one of our local auto repair shops, your vehicle will be given a complimentary courtesy inspection. During this quick inspection, our experienced technicians will review the current health and safety of your vehicle. Including your electrical systems and so much more, our team will use these results to help inform you on the current state of your vehicle, as well as offer you assistance relating to any of your current or future automotive issues.
Located your local automotive repair shop for fuse inspection and repairservices here.