Don’t know where to find the answer to the question how to tell if a car fuse is blown?, Knowing how to tell if a car fuse is blown is essential for any driver; an easy way to troubleshoot potential problems. We’ll explain why fuses blow, how to locate them in your vehicle, and provide tips on how to diagnose whether or not they need replacing. Read on for more information!
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What Is The Fuse And What Does It Do?
Fuses serve as a protective mechanism against electrical overloads and are present in most cars today. Typically these fuses are made of metal wire strips, allowing them to burn up easily when we have an electrical overload, cutting off the flow of electricity and sparing us from costly damages. With vehicles having various components that require protection from high voltage occurrences, you’ll often find two fuse boxes on nearly all cars with a fuse rating at 32 volts.
If a car’s fuse blows, then the circuit associated with that particular fuse will not be able to operate; this may cause various parts of your vehicle’s electrical system, such as lights, wipers, radio and other accessories, to stop working. Your car’s powertrain, driver-assist features, and safety features are also affected.
Signs Your Car Has a Blown Fuse
If you suspect that a fuse has blown, there are certain clues you can look for. Some of these signs include:
- Engine suddenly stops running
- Headlights or dashboard lights dim or go out completely
- Strange noises coming from the car’s electrical system
- Car won’t start at all
- Burning smell
- Radio, wipers and other accessories not working
- Fuses visibly melted or burned.
Causes of a Blown Car Fuse
It’s important to understand why fuses blow, and how to identify if the cause is mechanical. When an electrical component draws a stronger current than it is designed to handle due to the device malfunctioning, a short circuit occurs and a fuse blows.
Defective switches and faulty wiring are common problems when it comes to car electrics, but there could be more complex issues at play, such as when a windshield wiper freezes and overloads the motor.
When replacing a blown fuse, it’s important to remember that using an incorrect amperage could also cause further issues. For instance, if someone replaces a 15 amp fuse with a higher 20 or 30 amp one, this can lead to wires melting and much worse problems. On the other hand, swapping out a higher amp fuse with one of lower amperage is unlikely to get the component working again.
How to Tell if a Car Fuse is Blown?
Now that you know the basics, here’s how to tell if a fuse is blown in your vehicle:
1. Locate the Fuse Boxes
If you suspect that a blown fuse is the source of your vehicle’s woes, the first step is to turn off your engine and then locate the main fuse box.
In most cases it will be located in the driver’s side footwell underneath the dashboard. However, there may also be a second fuse box located under the hood, so make sure to consult your owner’s manual for the exact locations of both.
2. Inspect Each Fuse
Once you’ve found the correct fuse boxes, pull them out (ideally with fuse pullers/pliers) and open them up. Begin inspecting each individual fuse; look closely at both ends of the fuse strip to check for any signs of melting, burning, or discoloration.
If you notice any of these signs, then it’s likely that the fuse has blown and needs to be replaced.
3.1/ Test the fuse with a test light
To be sure, a test light is the perfect tool for quickly and easily determining if a car fuse needs to be replaced or not. All you need to do is connect the clips of your test light to the two ends of a fuse and, if it is still functioning properly, it will light up immediately.
However, if it doesn’t light up on both ends, then unfortunately the fuse has definitely been blown and needs to be replaced as soon as possible because a blown one can mean that there is damage somewhere else in the car too.
3.2/ Test the Fuse with a Multimeter
Use a multimeter (a device used to measure electrical current) to test the continuity of the fuse strip. If your car is not equipped with one, they are available at most automotive supply stores.
Once you have connected your multimeter to the fuse strip, turn it on and look for a reading below 0.1 ohms; if there is no reading, then the fuse has definitely blown and needs replacing.
Note: Before you start replacing your car fuse, note that it is important to first remove it from the holder. Be sure to also check that the blown fuse is not connected to any other components in your car, as this can cause a hazardous electrical malfunction.
How much does it cost to replace a car blown fuse?
Replacing a blown fuse is a simple job. It only costs around $1.00 for the part itself and you can save yourself a lot of money by replacing it yourself instead of going to a repair shop.
That being said, if you choose the latter option then expect to pay anywhere between $100 and $200 with the whole process only taking 15-20 minutes. However, waiting times can add up depending on how busy the shop is and where it’s located. If replacing the fuse doesn’t fix the problem, your only other option is to seek help from a mechanic.
I’m Timothy Ballard, owner of a used car dealership in Springfield. I love just about everything automotive, but I have a special place in my heart for trucks. I’m an ASE Certified Master Technician, so I know my way around a car. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my family and hiking new trails.