How to Change Fuses in a Car: 6 Easy Replacement Steps (2024)

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Diagnose and fix a broken fuse in your car’s electronics

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methods

1Locating and Diagnosing

2Fuse Removal and Replacement

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Co-authored byJason Shackelford

Last Updated: January 5, 2024References

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Learn how to quickly and safely change the fuses in your car and get back on the road without letting a dealership or mechanic get the best of you.

Method 1

Method 1 of 2:

Locating and Diagnosing

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  1. 1

    Make sure it's a fuse issue. When one circuit has too much electricity flowing through it, the fuse blows to prevent serious damage and even fire. The best way of knowing if a fuse has blown, is if an electric component instantly stops working i.e. window stops while rolling up or down, radio stops workings, or all of the dash lights go out at once. If an electric component has been slowly getting worse, it is not likely a fuse but it is still good to check the fuses regularly.[1]

  2. 2

    Find the fuse panel.[2] Theowner's manual will tell wherethe vehicle's fuse panel is. Most models situate the fuse panel on the driver's side of the dashboard and under the steering wheel, but location varies from vehicle to vehicle. Remove the fuse panel's cover;there will beseveral different color-coded fuses plugged in. These colors, along with the numbers stamped on the fuses, indicate different amperage ratings. On the backside of the fuse panel there will be a diagram that shows which fuse corresponds with which electrical component. If the owner's manual is unavailable, try contacting a dealership for the location or a simple internet search can provide enough information to locate the fuse panel and specific fuses.[3]

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  3. 3

    Try to test fuses before removing. Once the fuse panel is located, remove the cover and locate the fuse puller, most vehicles come with a small fuse puller but not all will have one. Before removing any fuses, it is possible to test a fuse before removing it, this requires either a continuity test light, or a multi-meter / ohm meter.[4]

  4. 4

    Test the suspect fuses. To test a fuse without removing it, using the two probes of either the test light or multi-meter, touch the two small metal tabs located on the top of the fuse. These tabs can be tricky to connect to, but once sure that the probes are making contact, if the fuse has continuity (test light lights up) or has a resistance reading (may read 0 or 0.001milli-ohm) then the fuse is good. If these tools are unavailable, simply use the fuse puller that was in the fuse panel, or a small pair of pliers, or just bare fingers to remove and visually inspect any fuses. If the fuse is bad, it needs to be replaced.[5]

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  1. 1

    When replacing a fuse you must use a fuse that has the same amperage rating. Use the fuse panel diagram, the numbered color-coded fuses and the owner's manual to help you determine the correct amperage for your new fuse.Once you have the right fuse gently push it into the correct slot, make sure it's completely installed, and then put the fuse panel back on the car.[6]

  2. 2

    Check the circuit. Once you are done replacing the fuse, turn the ignition and check to see if the circuit giving you trouble is working correctly. If it is working, chances are you just had a temporary surge that blew the fuse. If that's the case, then you just solved the problem.[7]

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Expert Q&A

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  • Question

    What are the reasons why my car's service light engine is on?

    Jason Shackelford
    Auto Technician

    Jason Shackelford is the Owner of Stingray Auto Repair, a family owned and operated auto repair shop with locations in Seattle and Redmond, Washington. He has over 24 years of experience in auto repair and services, and every single technician on Jason’s team has more than 10 years of experience.

    Jason Shackelford

    Auto Technician

    Expert Answer

    The illumination of a service engine light typically occurs due to a variety of factors, with the most prevalent culprits being a loosely secured gas cap, insufficient fluid levels, malfunctioning sensors, or the presence of other non-critical issues within the vehicle's system. If you've checked everything and the light is still on, you can bring your car to the nearest car repair shop for a scan to properly diagnose the problem.

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  • Question

    Can I remove a fuse and start the car to determine what purpose the fuse serves?

    How to Change Fuses in a Car: 6 Easy Replacement Steps (13)

    Aksh*t Sharma

    Community Answer

    It is most likely written on the fuse box, and is 100% written in the owner's manual, so you don't need to do that.

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  • Question

    Do I need to reconnect the battery before replacing fuses?

    Logic Johnson Lafontaine

    Top Answerer

    Yes, it's impossible to check if the fuse is working without having battery power.

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      Video

      Tips

      • Repeatedly replacing the same fuse means there is an underlying issue in that system of the vehicle, this will likely require further electrical diagnosing or a trip to a mechanic.

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      How to Change Fuses in a Car: 6 Easy Replacement Steps (15)

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      Warnings

      • If you use the wrong amperage fuse, you could cause much worse damage to your vehicle than just a blown fuse.

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      • DO NOT attempt to diagnose or change fuses with the vehicle running or with the key in the ignition.

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      • Be careful when removing any trim pieces or access panels to get to the fuse panel as these can break.

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      Expert Interview

      Thanks for reading our article! If you’d like to learn more about car maintenance and repair, check out our in-depth interview with Jason Shackelford.

      About This Article

      How to Change Fuses in a Car: 6 Easy Replacement Steps (28)

      Co-authored by:

      Jason Shackelford

      Auto Technician

      This article was co-authored by Jason Shackelford. Jason Shackelford is the Owner of Stingray Auto Repair, a family owned and operated auto repair shop with locations in Seattle and Redmond, Washington. He has over 24 years of experience in auto repair and services, and every single technician on Jason’s team has more than 10 years of experience. This article has been viewed 85,074 times.

      63 votes - 74%

      Co-authors: 11

      Updated: January 5, 2024

      Views:85,074

      Categories: Car Maintenance and Repair | Automotive Tools

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      Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 85,074 times.

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        Jan 12, 2017

        "Resolved my fuse issue! Thanks!"

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