How to Buy Fusible Links for Your Car
Not all the parts in your car are meant to make the car move. Some of them are meant to protect you and your car from harm. A critical part of the modern automobile's electrical system, the fusible link is a thermal device designed to protect against sudden electrical surges (such as those from short circuits). It does this by absorbing the energy from the surge, sparing the fragile electrical circuits in your car, as well as you and your passengers, from harm. However, because it sacrifices itself to save your car, the fusible link is rendered unusable upon a short circuit and therefore needs to be replaced. In this guide, we are going to share some simple tips on buying a replacement fusible link.
Because it is the one thing that's stopping a short circuit from frying your car's wiring and electronics, the old fusible link should be replaced with the right one. While they are all designed for the same purpose, replacement fusible links are designed differently and are made for specific car makes and models. The wrong fusible link may not work or may cause damage to your car's wiring, so before buying a fusible link, make sure that it is actually compatible with your car. You can use the old fusible link as reference. Check the part number to see what kind of fusible link is right for your vehicle.
You should purchase fusible links that are 4 gauges smaller than the current wiring in your car. If your car has 4-gauge wires, for example, you should purchase a 12-gauge fusible link. But if the car has 10-gauge wires, the fusible link you need to buy must be 14-gauge. The fusible link should also not exceed 9 inches; if the link wire is too long, cut it to its appropriate size.
One for the road
Short-circuits can happen any time, whether you are warming up the engine in the garage or in the middle of the freeway. So as a precaution, in case a short happens and your fusible links fry while you are on the road, be sure to have a couple of fusible links ready in your dashboard. However, it is not recommended that you use a fusible link as an alternative to a fuse in your car. Fusible links are not meant to replace car fuses.
DIY Steps to Replace Melted Fusible Links in Your Car
The fusible link is a safety device designed to melt whenever excessive current flows through one of the electrical circuits in your car. This prevents damage to the sensitive electrical systems in the vehicle but at the expense of the fusible link becoming completely damaged and unusable. So whenever a short circuit happens in your car, you will also have to replace the burned fusible links to restore electrical power to the affected circuits. In this repair guide, we are going to show you the steps on how to replace the fusible links in your car.
Difficulty level: Easy
- Ratchet and socket set
Step 1: With the car parked at a level surface and the ignition off, pop open the hood of your car and disconnect the negative cable from the battery. Use a wrench to loosen the battery terminal bolt and carefully twist the cable off the battery post.
Step 2: Look for the burned fusible link. Most cars nowadays have their fusible links stored in the main fuse box or fusible link box. In our car, a 1995 Nissan Maxima, the box is located under the hood between passenger side fender and the power steering fluid reservoir. The fusible links themselves resemble that of a normal fuse and have a clear plastic window on top where you can view its condition.
Step 3: Pull the fusible link out of its socket using a pair of pliers. If it the main fusible link has been damaged, it will be bolted to two terminals that attach it to the main power block. Remove these bolts as well with a socket and ratchet.
Step 4: Install the new fusible link into the socket or attach it to the main power block through the bolts you've removed earlier. Make sure to tighten the bolts properly. Once that's done, reattach the negative battery cable, close the hood and test drive the car to see if all the electrical circuits are working properly.
- Don't install fusible links in the car interior or anywhere flammable. Fusible links will spark once high electrical currents pass through them.