Although they are small, every experienced mechanic knows how important car fuses are. They take on the critical task of protecting the electrical system from damage caused by overloading or short circuits. Knowing how to test and replace fuses, as well as keeping a good supply of them on hand, is an important part of offering quality service.
Understanding Car Fuses
You may have seen or even replaced a fuse before without taking the time to understand what it really is and how it works. Fuses are typically made of a metal alloy that melts when too much current flows through it. That means if a circuit in a vehicle starts sending too much power, car fuses will take the brunt of the impact and cut the circuit, protecting other systems.
Types of Car Fuses
Here are some of the most common types of fuses that you should keep on hand:
- Blade fuses: These are the most common. They are small and rectangular-shaped with two metal prongs that fit into a fuse socket.
- Maxi fuses: These are larger than blade fuses and are used to protect high-current circuits. You screw them into a socket using their threaded base.
- ATC fuses: For circuits that are prone to shorting, ATC or automotive time-delay fuses are ideal. They are designed to withstand a brief surge of current without blowing.
Like many electrical devices and parts, car fuses are rated for a specific amount of current. That rating is the maximum amount of electric current the fuse can safely handle. If too much current flows through a fuse, it will blow and you’ll have to replace it.
When you replace a blown or bad fuse, it’s important to get a new part with the right rating for that vehicle and fuse input. If a fuse has the wrong rating, it may blow too soon or too late, causing the car to malfunction or even causing damage to the car’s electrical system.
Dealing with Blown Car Fuses
When an electrical item in a car stops working, it’s good to check if a blown fuse is a problem. It’s easy to spot a fuse that is blown. The metal strip inside the fuse will be melted or broken. If you see a blown fuse, it is important to replace it as soon as possible.
How to Replace a Car Fuse
To replace a fuse, your first step is to locate the fuse box. The fuse box is typically located under the hood of the car, but it can also be in the cabin of the car below the steering wheel, near the tail lights, or on some cars you may even find fuse boxes in all three places. Once you have found the fuse box, open it and pick out the blown fuse then replace it with a new one of the appropriate rating.
Tips for Replacing Car Fuses
Here are a few tips for replacing car fuses:
- Always use a fuse with the same current rating as the blown fuse.
- Be sure to replace the fuse cover after replacing a fuse.
- Test the fuse after replacing it to make sure there are no other problems with the car’s electrical components.
Get the Car Fuses You Need
Every car will need a fuse replaced at some point, so prepare yourself for this common repair. Stock up on quality car fuses by shopping with Rogo Fastener today.