How to Check Car Fuses (2024)

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How to Check Car Fuses (1)

BySamuel Rosenmayer

Updated: Jun. 28, 2024

Solve electrical problems yourself by simply replacing a car fuse. We'll show you how to check car fuses, how to replace a car fuse and more here.

How to Check Car Fuses (2)TMB STUDIO

Next Project

    How to Check Car Fuses (3)Time

    An hour or less

    How to Check Car Fuses (4)Complexity

    Beginner

    How to Check Car Fuses (5)Cost

    Less than $20

    Introduction

    Cars run on electricity as well as gas, and almost all of it runs through fuses. Learn where they are, how to spot a blown fuse, and how to replace them. It takes about five minutes, costs about $1, and it'll save you the hassle of a trip to the repair shop.

    Tools Required

    • Fuse puller

    Materials Required

    • Replacement fuses

    Cars run on electricity as well as gas, and almost all of it runs through fuses. Eventually, those fuses blow and need to be replaced. Know that next time your car radio, windshield wipers or other device stops working, chances are a blown fuse is the culprit. The good news is that checking and replacing a car fuse is simple enough for any DIYer to take on the project and save time and money.

    Car fuses are color-coded by amp rating. For example, a standard blue fuse has a 15-amp rating, while yellow is 20 amps and green is 30. Before buying and replacing car fuses, remember that the fuse panel cover often contains spare fuses and even a fuse puller. If you do use those spares, be sure to replace them. You can buy car fuses at any auto parts store and at well-stocked service stations. The location of a vehicle’s fuse panel varies, so refer to your owner’s manual to locate yours. Some standard locations for fuse boxes include under the dash, beneath the sidekick panels and under the rear seat.

    A professionalcar mechanicis not required to replace a car fuse; however, if your new fuse blows soon after installing it, you might have problems with that circuit. Schedule an appointment with your service station or dealer for an expert diagnosis to repair the problem.

    Project step-by-step (8)

    Step 1

    Turn off the vehicle

    Shut off the vehicle by turning off the ignition.

    Step 2

    Locate the car fuse panel

    Check your owner’s manual to locate your fuse panel. Once located, remove the cover and look for a fuse diagram.

    How to Check Car Fuses (6)TMB STUDIO

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    Step 3

    Analyze the fuse diagram

    Each fuse panel cover should have a diagram listing each device and the corresponding fuse. The diagram will make it easy to find which fuse needs to be replaced to fix the electrical issue.

    How to Check Car Fuses (8)TMB STUDIO

    Step 4

    Remove the blown fuse

    With the fuse puller, remove the blown fuse from the panel. Tweezers, needle nose pliers, or your fingers would also work to pull out the fuse. If you have larger hands, it will be easier to use fuse pullers.

    How to Check Car Fuses (9)TMB STUDIO

    Step 5

    How to chack if a car fuse is blown

    To confirm a fuse is blown, hold it up to the light to see if it’s burned out. If the fuse is good, you’ll see a fine wire element connecting the two sides. The fuse is bad if a section of that wire has burned away.

    How to Check Car Fuses (10)TMB STUDIO

    Step 6

    Replace the fuse

    Replace the blown fuse with a new fuse that has identical amperage, identified by the color and number printed on the fuse. Use the fuse pullers to insert a new fuse into the fuse panel.

    How to Check Car Fuses (11)TMB STUDIO

    Step 7

    Test the new fuse

    Turn the vehicle back on. Turn on the electrical circuit that corresponds to the replaced fuse. If it works, you are good to go. If the new fuse blows immediately, you know an underlying issue (like a short circuit) needs to be inspected by a professional mechanic.

    Step 8

    FAQs

    How do you know if a car fuse is blown?

    Common signs that a fuse in your car is blown are electrical functions not working, including interior or exterior lighting systems, power outlets,power windows, power door locks, or the radio.

    Can you replace a blown fuse with a lower AMP fuse?

    Always replace the fuse with one with the specified amp rating. You may install the next-smaller-rated fuse to get you by in a pinch until you can purchase a replacement. However, you should never replace a blown fuse with a higher-amp fuse.

    What are common types of car fuses?

    There are at least seven different styles of fuses. You’ll need the blown fuse to match it up with the right replacement. Most automobile fuses used in vehicles today are one of three types: mini, standard, or maxi. The mini and standard are fast-acting fuses that protect most of your vehicle’s circuits, including those for lights and radios. The maxi car fuses are slow-acting fuses that protect circuits with a large current draw, such as those for anti-lock brakes, the rear window defoggerand traction control.

    Originally Published: December 10, 2018

    Author

    Samuel Rosenmayer

    Hands-on DIY woodworker with experience in the utility construction industry.

    Read More

    How to Check Car Fuses (12)

    How to Check Car Fuses (2024)

    FAQs

    How to Check Car Fuses? ›

    Either visually or use a multimeter to check the continuity,Zero ohms = good, Infinity Ohms = Bad ! Use a voltmeter, start car. If you see battery voltage on one side but not other, that fuse Might be suspect. On any type fuse, you can put probes either to the fuse or the clips that hold it.

    How do you figure out which fuse is blown in a car? ›

    Turn the car off. Check the owner's manual or fuse box cover to see which fuse corresponds to the malfunctioning system. The easiest way to check a fuse is to pull the fuse you suspect is blown and check it visually.

    How do I know what fuses my car needs? ›

    The most straightforward is to inspect the fuse itself, where the amperage rating is typically noted on or near the top of the fuse. The second is to check the fuse diagram in the vehicle, to understand which fuse type is in each slot.

    Can a car fuse be partially blown? ›

    The answer, though it may surprise many, is a resounding YES.

    Can AutoZone fix a blown fuse? ›

    Bear in mind that some fuses like stud mount fuses need to be unbolted before they can be changed, so be sure there aren't any fasteners to remove. Have a blown fuse? We can help. AutoZone carries a fantastic selection of car fuses and electrical repair components to get you back on your way fast.

    Does the car have to be running to check fuses? ›

    Just have the ignition on, but the engine off. (This is known as the 'KOEO' or 'second key' position). Once the ignition is on, attach the clip for the test light to any exposed metal. Then, use the probe to touch each end of each fuse.

    Can I pull a car fuse out with my fingers? ›

    Most fuses can be pulled out by hand, using the fuse puller, or with pliers, and a new fuse carefully pushed into its place. Can I pull a car fuse with my hand? Most blade-style fuses can be pulled out by hand, yes.

    How do you detect a fuse failure? ›

    Non-visual signs of a blown fuse include short circuits, ground faults, damaged outlets or electrical wires, and an overloaded circuit. You can test for a blown fuse with a multimeter, which measures voltage, electrical flow, and resistance.

    Can a car fuse look good but be bad? ›

    It is possible for automotive fuses to go bad without blowing. They may become corroded due to moisture, but it very rarely happens. Most of the time, they just get blown. Even if fuse corrosion almost never happens, your automotive fuses are still worth checking out routinely to make sure they're all good.

    Can you visually tell if a fuse is bad? ›

    Firstly, visually inspect the fuse and see if the filament inside is intact or broken. A blown fuse typically has a broken filament and a black or gray discoloration around it. Secondly, if your device isn't working despite being plugged in and switched on, it's likely that the fuse has blown.

    How can I tell if a fuse is blown in my car? ›

    The filament must be continuous from one terminal to the other for current to flow. If the filament is broken through, there's melting visible, or there are black or brown burn marks inside or on the outer portion of the fuse, it's an indication the fuse is blown. Use a circuit tester/test light or DVOM.

    Do you have to disconnect a car battery to change a fuse? ›

    To avoid any accidents, you can disconnect the battery before you attempt to change the fuse, especially if your car has a push-button start system that may have already primed your car's electrics because the keys are nearby.

    How do you know which fuse goes where in a car? ›

    To determine the type of blade fuses your vehicle uses, check your owner's manual for a fuse box diagram. A fuse box diagram will show you what kind of fuse goes into each slot and the exact amperage to use. If you are unable to locate a fuse box diagram, consult with your local auto mechanic.

    How do I know which fuse to replace? ›

    Open the fuse box and look at the glass containers that hold the fuses. If you can see that the fuse is visibly broken, or there is metallic residue on the glass from the fuse blowing, you will need to replace that particular fuse. Always turn your power off before replacing a fuse.

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