Your car has a large number of fuses necessary for the protection of the delicate and utilitarian electrical devices necessary for its proper function. Occasionally, a fuse my burn through and effectively cut off the supply of electricity to part of your vehicle. There are several reasons for fuse burn-out.
- The most common reason is overuse of an electrical circuit. Thirty years ago, there was only one place for electrical access inside the cabin of the car; the cigarette lighter. Today, there may be as many as six access points within a car that are known as electrical access ports. Read your owner’s manual to know how much amperage each port will allow before you plug an electrical device into them.
- Sudden power surges are not only a problem for homes, but also for cars. The fuses are available to ensure that a surge or overuse of a circuit will not damage the wiring in the system and lead to a potential fire.
- Electrical storms, or lightning, in the vicinity of a car can sometimes cause an overload on the electrical circuits of a car. There may be multiple fuses affected in such a case.
- Long periods of operating a piece of equipment from an electrical access port in your car can cause heat to build-up in the wiring of the system. This heat is the main cause of fuse burn-out and should be considered when replacing the fuse.
- The do-it-yourself car mechanic may decide to install equipment into his car himself. If you plan to purchase a new car radio/stereo system, check with a reputable dealer and installer before doing so. The electrical load on a system due to larger speakers could cause one or more fuses to burn-out. There may be a need to install thick-gauge wiring for the new system.
- Water can sometimes enter the engine compartment. Since some fuses may be housed in a protective box there, water may come into contact with them. Older cars have a greater issue with this problem since the housing around the fuses can become cracked over time.
- Fuses will eventually burn-out, even if the system is not overloaded. Simple replacement with the same style fuse with the same amperage rating should be no problem since any reputable automotive parts store will have what you need. In most cases, replacement of a fuse is simple and takes less than a minute.