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Many of your vehicles problems can be traced back to a blown fuse. Before running to the mechanic for every minor problem you should try to locate and replace it. This could potentially save you a ton of cash on unnecessary repair shop costs. Changing a blown fuse is really a simple job that even the most naïve grease monkey should be able to do.
The Job of the Fuse
Just like the ones in your fuse box at home, automotive fuses are designed to protect the electrical system. For your car, a fuse is made up of two terminals and a fuse element inside of a plastic casing. It is a bridge within the circuit of whatever vehicular system it is a part of. If for any reason the system begins to draw more power than it can handle, the fuse element will heat up first, melt and interrupt the circuit. This protects the part it is serving and alerts you to a problem.
What does it mean when a fuse blows?
Fuses can blow for a variety of reasons. For example, the one controlling your stereo system may blow simply because you overloaded the system by playing it too loud. It could also be indicative of a wiring problem. You really don’t know until you change the fuse. When a fuse blows, the best thing you can do is change it and then observe how the system reacts. If it blows again quickly than the part it controls has an electrical issue that you need to address. If not, it may just have been a temporary glitch or the fuse could have been old.
The Fuse Box
There are usually two fuse boxes found inside of the car. The one inside of the engine will house the fuses for the larger systems, like your air conditioning and engine functions, while the one inside of the cabin contains the fuses for your electrical accessories. You will most likely find a map on the inside cover of all the fuses and what they control. If not, consult the owner’s manual.
Replacing the Fuse
As simple as changing a fuse may seem to be, it does need to be correctly in order to ensure that your vehicle continues to run properly. If you have any doubts or just like to see a pro in action take a few minutes and check out online videos that illustrate exactly how to get the job done.