Getting the Right Type of Fuse
So you and your family are off to the beach. Now, you don't exactly know how to get there but that won't be a problem since you can always rely on your trusty GPS for directions. As you're driving though, the GPS suddenly shut off. Naturally, you stop at a roadside to check out what went wrong. After all, you can't move on without it. You tried turning it on. Nothing happened even if it was working perfectly earlier. You then come to the conclusion that it may not be the GPS that's busted, but its fuse. So you grab your test light and inspect the fuse box under your dashboard. Upon using the test light on the fuse that's connected to the GPS, only one side lit. That means that the fuse for the GPS is indeed busted.
You won't be able to use your GPS until you replace the blown fuse. The same goes for your headlights, your horn, your turn signals, and other devices if their respective fuses become busted. Don't worry as it's easy to find and install a new fuse. You just have to make sure that the new fuse is of the same amperage rating, size, and color as your old one.
Types of Fuses
There are several types of fuses. Each type has its own set of sizes and colors. Below are the descriptions for each type.
A blade fuse (a.k.a. plug-in or spade fuse) is the most common type of fuse that's used in modern automobiles. These come in four sizes-low-profile mini, mini, regular, and maxi. Low-profile mini and mini blade fuses have the lowest amperage ratings (regular blade fuses are approximately in the same range though) while the maxi blade fuses have the highest. In addition to the classification by size, there are around 20 different colors of blade fuses, with each denoting a certain amperage rating. For example, all dark blue blade fuses have a 0.5 amperage rating (the lowest among all colors) while purple blade fuses have a 120 amperage rating (the highest among all colors).
Glass tube fuses can mostly be found in North American-made vehicles before 1981. These don't come in various sizes (all glass tube fuses are .25 inches in diameter) and colors, although they still have different amperage ratings.
Bosch fuses aren't that common anymore since they were mostly used for old European vehicles. Unlike blade fuses, Bosch fuses are available in only one size. They're available in multiple colors though-yellow, white, red, green, blue, and grey-with each denoting a certain amperage rating.
Similar to Bosch fuses, Lucas fuses are also rare nowadays since they were mostly used in old British vehicles. Lucas fuses are either 1 inch or 1.25 inches long. They come in more colors than Bosch fuses (with each denoting a certain amperage rating, as usual).
Fuses are extremely cheap. In fact, you can get a replacement for just a dollar. Again, just make sure that you're purchasing the fuse with the same amperage, size, and color as your old one.
How to Replace Your Car's Fuses
Your headlights won't turn on? Your horn won't work? Your turn signals won't blink? If any of those happened to you, then you most probably have a blown fuse. Obviously, you won't be able to use the feature or the accessory that's attached to that fuse until you get a replacement for the busted fuse. Replacement fuses are very cheap; you just have to make sure that you get the right one (it should be of the same amperage, size, and color). There's also no need to worry about the installation process as it's very easy even if you're not an expert DIYer.
Difficulty Level: EasyTools:
- Fuse removal tool (it should be in the fuse box)
- Test light
- Needle nose pliers
Step 1: Make sure that the vehicles ignition is turned off.
Step 2: Vehicles normally have two fuses-one under the hood and another under the dash. Locate the fuse box with the problematic fuse. Even if you've never seen a fuse box before, it should be easy to spot.
Step 3: Before you remove anything, you should determine first if the fuse really does need a replacement. You can do that by using the test light on each side of the fuse in question. If both sides light up, then you won't have to replace the fuse. If only one side lights up, then the fuse is blown.
Step 4: Now that you've confirmed that you need to replace the fuse, grab the fuse removal tool in the fuse box and use it to, well, remove the blown fuse.
Step 5: You can now install the new fuse. Again, make sure that your new fuse is of the same amperage, size, and color as your old one.
Step 6: With the new fuse in place, test the feature or the accessory that's connected to that fuse. It should be working properly now.