Thursday, August 16, 2012

Electrical Component Not Working In Your Vehicle, Check the Fuse

 If you have an electrical component in your vehicle that isn’t working, there’s a way that you can check it yourself before you pay a technician to do a diagnostic. There are many things in your vehicle that are electric, radio, lights, wipers and wiper motor, power windows, power door locks, even your fuel pump. I’m sure you can think of more, but this is just an example of what needs electrical power to work.

So that brings us to the device that protects these circuits and ultimately the component. These protectors are your fuses, for the most part. If you have an electrical component that isn’t working, the first thing you want to is find the fuse and check to see if it’s burned out.

Typically, there are 2 fuse boxes in your vehicle. One is located under the hood and the other is usually somewhere under the dash on the driver’s side. Look in your owner’s manual for the exact location. Next, you need to find out where the fuse is in the fuse box for your component.

Sometimes you get lucky and the inside of the fuse box cover tells you what each fuse is, otherwise you need your owner’s manual to find this information. Once you locate the fuse, you need to pull it out and check it. Most fuse boxes supply a fuse puller, attached somewhere in the box or the cover. This helps you to grab the fuse to remove it.

Once you remove the fuse, you want to look to see if it’s been blown. Blade fuses will have two flat metal blades connected in the middle by another piece of metal. If a fuse is bad, the piece between the two blades will be disconnected, or broken.

There are many reasons that this could happen. A power surge or a wiring problem are a couple examples. You’ll need to replace the fuse if it is blown. You want to make sure that you always replace it with the recommended amperage, this is the number on the top of the fuse. If you don’t have an extra fuse, you can buy them at any automotive store. Fuses are all the same, meaning that the color code doesn't change. 10’s are red, 15’s are blue, 20’s are yellow etc. You do want to know if you have a regular blade fuse or a mini blade fuse. It helps if you take the fuse with you so you only have to make one trip.
Once you replace the fuse, the component should work. If the fuse blows again, you will need to have a technician diagnose the problem. The great thing is if the fuse was all you needed, you just saved yourself the cost of paying a shop to diagnose the problem. Fuses today are only about 25¢ where a half hour of diagnostics might cost you $35. Don’t be afraid to get in there and look for yourself. Anything it shows you how to do in your owner’s manual is most likely something you can do on your own.


  1. One of our sailing books says "Always start the diagnosis with the SIMPLEST component." That works well for cars too, and often the fuse is the simplest component in the system. Great advice - good post!

    1. Yeah! I agree with your point,Always start diagnosis with small defects, after reading this blog now I am pretty sure that I can detect the problem in my car!

      Chicago Auto Repair