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How To Tell If A Car Fuse Is Blown: 4 Top Expert Tips!

You don’t know where to find the answer to the question of how to tell if a car fuse is blown? In this article, I will discuss why fuses blow, how to locate them in your vehicle, and provide tips on how to diagnose whether they need replacement.

“I own a Mazda 3 2014 car that has been sitting unused for almost two months. Currently, there is no power being supplied to the vehicle, leading me to initially suspect a battery issue. However, upon attempting to recharge the battery, I discovered it was already at over 80% capacity. Despite this, the car still does not function when the battery is reinstalled. As a result, I suspect a blown fuse may be the cause of this issue.”

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How To Tell If A Car Fuse Is Blown

The first indication of a blown fuse in an electrical device is sudden malfunction. However, it is important to note that other complications can also contribute to this issue. Therefore, it is necessary to inspect your car for a blown fuse to confirm the cause. Your vehicle houses multiple fuses, each located in different fuse boxes throughout the car. Before proceeding, refer to your owner’s manual to identify the correct fuse box. The manual contains a diagram indicating the precise locations of your fuse boxes, as well as the names assigned to each fuse. Once you have accessed the fuse box, you can determine if the fuse connected to your device is burnt out or blown.

1. Locating a Blown Fuse

To investigate a blown fuse, follow these steps for a smooth process:

1)Safely shut off the vehicle and locate the main fuse box, typically found underneath the dashboard in the driver’s side footwell. Note that some vehicles may also have a secondary fuse box under the hood. If you’re uncertain about their exact locations, consult your owner’s manual.

2)Inside the fuse box, you’ll typically find a comprehensive diagram illustrating the position and name of each fuse. Use this diagram to identify the specific fuse related to the malfunctioning vehicle component. Keep in mind that while a typical vehicle may have around 30 fuses, higher-end cars with increased electronic systems may have two to three times that amount.

3)Once you’ve pinpointed the correct fuse, carefully remove it using fuse pullers or pliers. Conduct a visual inspection of the fuse. The blown one will be easily recognizable as its wire element would have melted or burned due to the higher electrical current. Alternatively, you can utilize a test light or a multimeter to identify the faulty fuse without physically removing it. These tools are both affordable and user-friendly.

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.

2.1/ Test the fuse with a test light

How To Tell If A Car Fuse Is Blown (1)

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.

2.2/ 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.

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.

How To Tell If A Car Fuse Is Blown

Causes of a Blown Car Fuse

A blown fuse is typically the result of unstable electric current that exceeds the capacity of your vehicle. Excessive current flow is commonly caused by the following factors:

1)Faulty Wiring: Efficient electricity delivery relies on well-maintained wiring. Over time, wires can deteriorate or develop faults. Additionally, vehicles may come with improper or defective wiring, increasing the likelihood of blown fuses. If you suspect faulty wiring, consulting a mechanic is recommended. They have the necessary tools for running tests and diagnostics, which can be challenging to acquire independently.

2)Defective Parts: Blown fuses can also be caused by defective windshield motors, switches, and other electrical components. Flawed parts can lead to sudden electrical surges or short circuits, resulting in fuse burnouts. If you suspect faulty parts, it’s advisable to visit a mechanic for a thorough inspection and potential part replacement.

Maintaining a properly functioning electrical system in your vehicle is essential for reliable performance. To ensure your car remains safeguarded from hazardous electrical complications, it is crucial to ensure your fuses are in proper working order.

Replacing the Fuse

To ensure proper replacement of a blown fuse, follow these steps:

  • Verify the blown fuse and secure a new one that is identical to the faulty fuse. There are three main types of vehicle fuses: squarish plastic fuses with twin prongs, cylindrical glass fuses, and cylindrical plastic fuses. All of them utilize burnable or breakable filaments. It is crucial to choose the correct fuse type and voltage to prevent damage to the protected component.
  • Insert the new fuse in place of the old one, ensuring it is fully inserted. Comparing it to the adjacent fuse will help confirm proper placement.
  • Restore the fuse box panel to its original position and start the vehicle.
  • Test the respective component to determine if it functions properly with the new fuse in place. Success indicates a successful replacement. If the issue persists, it is advisable to seek assistance from an automotive professional for further diagnosis.
Timothy Ballard

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.

2 thoughts on “How To Tell If A Car Fuse Is Blown: 4 Top Expert Tips!”

  1. While still grasping it with the puller, examine the fuse by holding it up to a light source and looking through the translucent bodywork. Inside, you should observe a thin metal wire. If the wire is no longer a continuous thread and is instead broken or in two pieces, then the fuse has indeed ‘blown’.

  2. While gripping it with the puller, carefully hold the fuse up to a light source and observe the translucent bodywork. Within, there should be a visible thin metal wire. If this wire is no longer continuous and appears broken or in two pieces, it indicates that the fuse has blown.


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