What is a fuse
A car has many electrical equipments being operated from the battery connected to each other by different kinds of wires to make complex circuits. All these circuits consist of a small component called the fuse, which protects the circuit from overloads. The fuse is basically a wire housed in a connector. In case of an overload the fuse burns out and hence the circuit breaks thereby saving the equipments. In short a fuse commits suicide in order to save the vehicle’s life.
Types of fuses in a car
Depending upon the make and the model of your car, there might be two types of fuses that are used in cars. One is a glass cylinder with stainless steel on its ends and the other one is a plastic case with a fusible link housed on it. Older cars use the glass fuse while the newer models have the plastic fuse installed in them.
Do not panic
A blown fuse is not a cause enough to create a chaotic situation. It is cheap, readily available in the market and easy to replace. A blown fuse signals that something or the other is not working. It may be the rear lights, the turn indicators, the radio or any other electrical system. So, now you know that if electrical equipment or a sensor is not working the first thing to be checked is the fuse.
Find the Fuse panel
The owner’s manual of the car will guide you to find and locate the fuse panel. Commonly it is situated under the steering wheel or in the engine block but its location changes from one vehicle to the other. Usually it is made of plastic and is cubical in shape. Once you flip open the cover of the panel, you will see a colourful bunch of fuses plugged in a definite pattern. Using the fuse panel diagram in the manual, you can easily find out which fuse corresponds to which electrical component.
Unplug the burnt fuse
Corresponding to the equipment which is not working, plug out the blown fuse. You can easily note the broken wire in the fuse. This is the faulty fuse that needs to be changed. If you car had come with “pullers”, you can use them to pull out the burnt fuse. In case, you do not have one, pliers will work just fine. Please be careful you need to put back an exact identical copy of the fuse into the panel. If you do not have spare fuses, you can get it from an auto parts shop.
Changing the fuse
Now you need to replace the fuse by fixing it in the same slot from where the burnt fuse was removed and press hard. Cover the panel box. Please remember that if the fuse is not available you can use an identical fuse from the same fuse box which corresponds to less used equipment and you can fix the missing fuse later on. You can always purchase some extra fuses and store them in the panel box or the tool box.
Now you can turn your car’s ignition on and check whether the faulty circuit and the equipments are working fine.
When to see a mechanic
If the problem is fixed and you find all equipments working fine just as before, you can relax and enjoy the painless drive as before but if the problem persists or if the same fuse blows out repeatedly in a short span of time, you need to visit a mechanic. The car has some other problem that is above the level of replacing a burnt fuse.