How do Car Fuses Work?

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Cars are complicated pieces of machinery that require a fine expertise to repair. Understanding how they work, at least on a fundamental level, is still very important. Car fuses are one of the most important components of the car. The main job of a fuse is to protect the wiring. Why is this important? We are more than happy to explain.

The Job of the Fuse

Fuses are usually sized and located so they can protect the wire they have been connected to. The device in your car like a radio draws power in order to work. When the radio does this, it’s pulling on a power current. If the radio pulls too much from power current, it blows the fuse. The radio may have to be replaced and so will the fuse, but this doesn’t always happen.

Fuse Panels

The majority of cars have two fuse panels. The first one can be located in the engine compartment that holds fuses for important devices in the car. These devices usually include the engine control unit, cooling fans, and the anti-lock brake pump. Each of these devices are located in the engine department and draw on the power current to work.

The second fuse panel can be found in the dashboard, usually at knee level of the driver. This panel holds fuses for devices like switches that are located in the passenger compartment.

What is a Fuse Exactly?

People many know what a fuse does, but what exactly is a fuse? Fuses protect the wires from heat buildup (the power current) and helps to control the flow of electricity within the wire. Fuses at their core are just a special type wire that have their own self-contained connector. Many vehicle fuses have two blade connectors and a plastic housing to hold in the conductor. There are a fuses that exist that are located directly in the wiring of the car, and these are referred to as fusible links.

The conductor found in find the fuse is made out of a metal that is highly similar to solder. This metal has a lower melting point then the wire. The size of the conductor has been calibrated so when a certain current is reached, the heat generate melts the conductor and breaks the circuit. This protects the circuit from being damaged, but the fuse does have to be replaced in order or it to work again. This is known as a ‘blown fuse’. The fuse does have to be replaced with a fuse that has the same amperage as the original.

Fuses serve as a precaution from a circuit becoming ruined. When a fuse in your car has blown, make sure to replace it immediately.

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