If you’ve never blown a fuse at home congratulations, you’re an anomaly. Fuses are designed to break as they prevent the overloading of the whole system—think of them as the noble sacrifices of the electrical world. Changing a fuse in your car is similar to changing one at home.
1. Locate your car’s fuse panel. You might need to check the owner’s manual, but they can usually be found under the steering wheel.
2. Take off the fuse panel’s cover. Inside you’ll see a range of colors and numbers that denote different amperages while a diagram (usually on the reverse of the cover) will show what each fuse powers in your car.
3. Locate the blown fuse. The inside will usually be black or the metal filament might be broken. If it’s dark, you might want a flashlight to make this a quicker job.
4. Remove the broken fuse. You can use a variety of tools (or skip the tools and use your hands) to extract the blown fuse, the important point is to use care. Fuses can break easily and a broken fuse is a lot harder to get out than a fully intact one.
5. Insert a replacement fuse of the correct amperage—make note of the fuse panel and your owner’s manual on this one. Using a fuse of the incorrect amperage can cause serious electrical problems.
6. Keep a few extra fuses of various amperages in your glove box. In a jam, you can always take a fuse away from a lesser used function of the same amperage and use it for something more pressing, but this is just a temporary fix. For example, if the fuse for your power windows is blown and there’s no rain in the forecast pull the working fuse that’s allocated for your rear windshield wiper and use it for power windows. Just double check that the amperages for each are the same.
7. Start the ignition to check if your handiwork has paid off.
8. If the same fuse blows soon after you replaced it or doesn’t work at all, it might be time for a trip to the mechanic.