How to Replace an Electrical Fuse in a Car

by Contributor

Fuses protect all the electrical devices in your car: In case of a power surge, a fuse will "blow" so that the extra electricity doesn't reach the device. Replacing a fuse is easy, and you'll feel good diagnosing and fixing something yourself.

Turn off the car before beginning work.

Look under your car's dashboard, just below the driver's left knee.


Find the fuse box. It's usually a small square or rectangular plastic box. There will be a cover that pops open, with perhaps a tab keeping it closed. It can be opened without any tools. Many cars have a second fuse box inside the engine compartment. If the fuse you're looking to replace isn't in the fuse box inside the car, check for a second fuse box.


Remove the cover from the fuse box. The cover should contain a chart telling what each fuse controls, or there may be a clear plastic cover over the fuses that gives this information.

Find the blown fuse. It will look like the filament in a burned-out lightbulb - the metal strip will be broken and the fuse may look a little blackened.


Grasp the burned-out fuse on either side with your thumb and forefinger, and pop it out with a small pinching motion. Most cars have a small, plastic "fuse remover" in one of the slots. If it hasn't already been lost, you can use this to remove the fuse, or even a small screwdriver if you can't get it out with your fingers.


Take the fuse to a hardware or auto parts store. Get an identical replacement.

Replace the fuse by seating it in the slot from which you removed the burned-out one and pressing firmly with your thumb. It should snap into place.

Start the car and test the feature that had burned out - the headlights, the fan or the interior lights, for example.

Replace the fuse box cover.


  • Many cars have a few slots for extra fuses - just be sure to use the right amperage (there will be a little number in the fuse indicating amps).
  • There are three types of fuses: cylindrical glass fuses with metal ends; square plastic fuses with two metal prongs; and cylindrical plastic fuses with no covering over the filament. All of the fuses in your car will use one of these three types.
  • Once you know which type your car uses, it's not a bad idea to buy a box of assorted fuses, of various amperages, to keep in the glove box.
  • If you replace the fuse and it keeps blowing, there may be an electrical short somewhere. Make an appointment to see your mechanic.


  • Don't replace burned-out fuses with new fuses of different ratings (that is, don't use a 15-amp fuse to replace a 10-amp fuse).
  • On older cars, fuses may crack when removed. Be careful not to cut yourself on old fuses.

Items you will need

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