Found another thing besides a tire that can blow in the car – an electrical fuse!

compare-fuses

DIY – should have some new ones in the car

The other day my father-in-law (lets call him Warren) told me that he found himself unable to start his car in an underground parking, with the auto-club guy not allowed to get his truck in the low ceiling area. After some time he got his mechanic there and he found out that the starter really worked, the start plugs did their thing but no fuel was flowing. He saw that the fuel pump didn’t get power, and soon after found a melted (!) fuse in the fuse box. Melted as it was he had a hard time finding out which fuse to replace it with but when he did he also told Warren that apparently the fuse he had was not of the right amperage (and so blew when it shouldn’t have) and of very low cost at 0.1$ compared to the high end ones at 1$. I guess the guy that owned the car before him (or his garage) was incredibly cheap…

I had a point here somewhere, oh yes, here it is – although the internet is full of “how too change fuses” articles and movies, and you can find explanations in your owners manual, you rarely see explanations about the logic behind blowing a fuse -> changing a fuse. The fuses are same as your home fuses, meaning each of them is in charge (funny!) of an area or several lights / electrical things in the car. The electricity runs through the fuses and they are the weakest link in such a way that if a short circuit happens somewhere in the car (which will cause a fire if not stopped) the amperage rises and burns the fuse’s internal cord and stops the power.

The point is that if you had a blown fuse, unless someone put in the wrong fuse, there is a chance you have a short, that will be apparent if the fuse blows again. If it does, stop changing it and look for the real problem – moisture in a light, a dislocated contact, a fried pump or other options that should be fixed before power restoration.

So don’t forget the fuses – they can be the difference between a trip to the shop and fixing the problem alone in 5 minutes. But if it blows again it’s not a momentary power surge that did it and you’ll need a mechanic to pinpoint and fix the real problem…