Even the most carefully-driven car isn’t immune to blowing a fuse occasionally. It can happen for a wide variety of reasons – this may include a short-circuit, overloaded circuit, or simply faulty components. They can sometimes blow because they’re old, too, especially if you’ve successfully maintained your car as a whole for a number of years. (If you’re planning on buying a salvage car from one of our online car auctions in order to make it roadworthy again, this is the kind of minor damage that it can be helpful to check for.)
Now, you may well be glad to hear that when this happens, it’s generally due to electrical issues inherent to the car, and not something to do with your driving. If it happens a lot, of course, then it’s definitely worth getting your car looked at, and perhaps scheduling in some preventative maintenance. In the short term though, if it’s the first time it’s happened, it’s fairly easy to sort yourself. Here’s how.
Get yourself properly prepared – and turn off the car
The first thing that you need to do is to ensure that you have a replacement fuse. It can also help to make sure that you have a spare set of needle-nose pliers, or a fuse puller. In all likelihood you’ll find one in the fuse box, but not necessarily always, so it can be helpful to have a spare set to hand just in case.
And of course, turn off the ignition and remove the key. This is a really important step to make sure you have sorted before you start looking around for the fusebox. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging the car further, or even electrocuting yourself in the worst case scenario.
Locate the fuse box and blown fuse
If you know where the fuse box is already, cracking. If not, it’s normally found near the driver’s side dashboard, or in the engine compartment. From there, it’s just a matter of identifying the blown fuse. Normally, fuse box cover will tell you this, but if not, then your car manual will tell you too. You can easily identify which fuse corresponds to which malfunctioning component, as the fuses are normally labelled by function.
Remove and inspect the fuse
As we mentioned earlier, you can sometimes find pliers in the fusebox. If not, then you’ll have to use your own. Grip the blown fuse firmly and pull it straight out, and be really careful not to damage the fuse of surrounding components. It’s then a good idea to give it a final inspection, just in case. An unusable fuse will have a broken filament inside. If the filament is fine, you may well have a bigger electrical issue to worry about. If it’s broken though – as it likely will be – just replace it.
Double check you’ve got the correct amperage and install the new fuse
Refer to the car’s manual or fuse box cover to double check if you have the right amperage. If you’re not careful with this, it can cause further electrical issues, or potentially even blow again. Once you’re certain on that score, you can then have peace of mind to install the new fuse. Take the new fuse and put it into the empty slot, making sure that it fits securely. It needs to sit flush with the top of the fuse box.
Replace the cover and (carefully) turn on the ignition
If you removed the cover, now it’s time to put it back on – take the time to make sure that it’s aligned and it’s fastened correctly. Turn the ignition key to the “On” position without firing up the engine, so you can check the electrics. If the issue is fixed then you’ve sorted it, and you can safely dispose of the old fuse.
If the issue remains, or the replacement fuse blows again shortly afterwards, you’re probably going to need to get it looked at. It might be an underlying electrical issue and best to discuss with a mechanic.
Sometimes, of course, these kinds of small issues can accumulate – and may even eventually lead you to conclude you need a new car. If that’s the case, that’s exactly where we can help here at RAW2K. We supply a huge range of used, seized and salvage cars to choose from in our online car auctions, which are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis. They include models from world-leading manufacturers like Ford and Vauxhall, as well as others, including Honda and Peugeot. Why not take a look around, and see what you can find?