All About Car Fuse Box
Cars have various electrical components that require a fuse to protect against short circuits. There are two fuse boxes, one located near the engine or under the hood and the other is located near the driver seat.
The car fuse box under the hood protects engine components including engine control unit (ECU), cooling fan, ABS motor and battery. Whereas the fuse box near the dashboard protects cabin components like power windows, interior lights, radio or infotainment system and turn signals.
Let’s delve a bit deeper to understand how car fuse boxes work and what their types are.
Understanding Car Fuse Box
A car fuse box has a series of different fuses, relays and diodes to protect the electrical circuits from overload or short circuit. The fuse box is powered directly by the battery. The wires from the fuse box connected to the vehicle components that need protection.
The fuses consist of a wire conductor that breaks when the current exceeds the ampere limit. The ampere limit is usually defined on each fuse along with different colour codes. Placing the right fuse with the correct ampere is integral for protection.
For instance, if a fuse with lower ampere rating is used it will blow too soon and the connected component will not function. If the fuse ampere rating is high, the component may become damaged and fail before the fuse.
Relays are electrically operated switches, commonly found in all vehicles. For instance, when we turn on a car’s air conditioner that uses a relay, the current will pass through an electromagnetic coil. The interaction of the magnetic field and switching component allows the relay to complete the circuit. Since relays can control multiple circuits, they come in handy when controlling various car circuits like heaters and headlights.
Diodes are often built-in with relays to allow the flow of dc current in one direction. It prevents voltage spikes or flies back that may occur in winding coils found in relays.
Car Fuse Types
Blade fuses are the ones commonly found in cars with variable amperes. These are available in six different dimensions and design, including:
- Micro2 (5-30 amp)
- Micro3 (5-15 amp)
- Mini & Low Mini (2-30 amp)
- Regular ATO/ATC (1-40 amp)
- Maxi Heavy Duty (20-100 amp)
Identifying Blown Fuse
If the car fuse is blown, one or more electrical components of the car will stop working. Since the location of fuses varies with vehicle brand, the first step is to identify the blown fuse from the fuse box. Manufacturers often offer fuse diagrams that show the connection of relative fuse with the components.
Use the non-functioning components to identify the blown fuse. Before replacement, a technical diagnosis is necessary to find out the cause of the blown fuse.
Empty Spaces in the Fuse Box
Fuse boxes in car usually have empty fuse sockets for future features. Even fully accessorised cars may have empty sockets for features that may be added later by the manufacturers. Since these sockets are not connected to any circuits, you can use them to store spare fuses. However, take caution and use the fuse box diagram when pulling out spare fuses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are all car fuse boxes the same?
Although the fuse type is standard for all cars, the design of fuse boxes may vary for different brands and models. The fuse box depends on the electrical components of the specific car. The fuse diagram on fuse boxes is one way to diagnose the faulty part.
How many fuse boxes does a car have?
Usually, you will find two fuse boxes in the car. One is located under the hood and the other is found in the dashboard or near the steering wheel. The fuse under the hood protects important engine components and accessories like battery, ECU and cooling fan. The internal fuse box protects the interior cabin components, including lights, radio and powered controls.
How much does it cost to replace a fuse in a car?
Car fuses are not expensive and are often available packs with variable ampere range. Depending on the type and quantity, it may range between AED 50 to AED 200.
With a basic understanding of car fuse boxes, you can usually take care of blown fuses on your own. If the problem requires technical eyes and a diagnostic scan to identify the cause of the blown fuse, consult auto technicians to get the job done.
If your car requires replacement of parts during regular maintenance work, check out new and used auto accessories & parts for sale in the UAE to find some good deals. Stay tuned to the UAE’s leading auto blogs for more information on car parts, market trends and automotive technology.