How to Reset an Automotive Circuit Breaker

by Richard Asmus

Every electrical accessory or gadget in your car has a fuse to protect it. When a fuse blows, it breaks the connection, and you have to replace the fuse to re-establish the circuit for the accessory or gadget to operate. But some auto manufacturers and aftermarket suppliers have provided circuit breakers that replace fuses in the fuse panel. If an overload occurs, the breaker "trips" or opens. All you have to do is reset it. To do this, you need to know enough about your car to find the fuse panel and remove the cover without specific instructions.

Find the circuit-breaker panel of your car and remove the cover.

Look at all the fuses and breakers, using the flashlight. Find the tripped breaker. It will have a small button in the center, and the button will be popped out. The button on a breaker that is not tripped will be almost flush with the surface. A tripped button will stick out about a quarter of an inch.

Push the button in until it clicks into place.

Tip

  • check If the breaker trips again as soon as you turn on your ignition or turn on the accessory, you have a problem with the wiring or the accessory. It will need to be repaired.

Warning

  • close Do not attempt to bypass a breaker that keeps tripping or replace it with a higher-amperate fuse. You could cause an electrical fire. If you suspect a bad breaker, replace it with a fuse or breaker of the same amperage.

Items you will need

About the Author

Richard Asmus was a writer and producer of television commercials in Phoenix, Arizona, and now is retired in Peru. After founding a small telecommunications engineering corporation and visiting 37 countries, Asmus studied broadcasting at Arizona State University and earned his Master of Fine Arts at Brooklyn College in New York.