How to Change Fuses in Your Car

Sep 20, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)

Just like your home, your car has fuses that keep your electrical systems running smoothly and safely. If a circuit has to deal with too much energy flowing through the wires, then the fuse will blow to prevent major damage to the specific component of your vehicle. The good news for those who have a blown fuse in their car is that these components are incredibly simple and inexpensive to replace. They are cheap enough that you can comfortably buy a few extra and keep them on hand in your glovebox or fuse panel. When it comes time to change the fuse, there is typically no need to go to a mechanic; just follow these steps and take care of it yourself.

Find Your Fuse Panel

The first step to changing a fuse in your car is perhaps the most obvious. You will need to figure out where the fuse panel is, which should be listed in the owner’s manual. Most of the time, the fuse panel will be under your steering wheel on the side of the dashboard closest to the driver. Other times, it may be within the engine compartment, glove box, front dash doorjambs, or somewhere else. Once you find the fuse panel, take off the cover; the back of the cover should have a diagram that tells you which fuse connects to each electrical component so you can easily resolve the issue. Just make sure to turn off your ignition before working on your car’s electrical system.

Take Out the Fuse

With the diagram on the back of the fuse cover and some basic observation skills, you can spot the blown fuse. It will either be black inside or the filament within will be broken. If your car didn’t come with pullers designed to remove the fuse, just grab a pair of tweezers or use your fingers to remove it carefully. If the fuses are not numbered or otherwise identified, you can remove, inspect, and replace each one until you find the appropriate fuse. If you notice that none of the fuses appears to be blown, you will want to visit a mechanic since there may be another issue.

Change the Fuse and Run Checks

After taking out the blown fuse, check the fuse panel diagram, the fuse itself, and your owner’s manual to figure out which amperage you need. Always use the proper amperage, otherwise, you can damage your car. Place the new fuse in its place and push it down using your finger before replacing the fuse panel cover. If you don’t have extra fuses on hand, you can borrow the fuse from a component you use less often as long as it has the same amperage. (You will run the risk damaging the second component in the interim and you should replace the fuse as soon as possible.) Before congratulating yourself, make sure that you changed the fuse correctly. To do this, turn on the ignition and make sure that your circuits are working correctly. If this is the case, there was probably just a temporary electricity overload. If it doesn’t work or blows again soon, visit your mechanic.

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