Simple methods to troubleshoot a car fuse

A fuse is a safety device that is used to protect the electrical circuit or load that it is connected to. It has an element that easily melts when a current that exceeds it's rated current passes through it.

A fuse is said to have problem when it is broken and can no longer pass current to the circuit or load that it is meant to protect.

Troubleshooting a fuse is one of the easiest things that can be done on electrical and electronic systems.

There are different ways to test a fuse and the suitability of each method depends on the type of circuit that the fuse is used in.


What is a fuse?

It is an electrical safety device with thin conductor which is designed to melt and separate for the purpose of breaking the circuit for protection in the case of an excessive current flow through the fuse.


Different ways to test a fuse

Below are the different ways a fuse can be tested. They are all easy to understand and carry out.

1. Use of multimeter/continuity tester for fuse test

This entails the use of a multimeter set to continuity range. Fuses are not supposed to be resistive therefore, a good fuse will show no resistance during continuity test. Continuity test is simply a test for current flow (without resistance) from one end of a fuse to the other end of the same fuse. All that you need to do is to put one lead of the tester on one terminal of the fuse and the other lead of the tester on the second terminal of the fuse. Some testers have a buzzer sound that signifies that there is continuity. A good fuse will show zero resistance or a negligible resistance value.

2. Use of test light for fuse test

A test light is just a light bulb that illuminates if there is current in a circuit. One terminal of the test light is grounded (for DC voltage) or connected to neutral (for AC voltage). The other terminal of the test light is then used on the fuse itself. If the bulb lights up when each terminal of the fuse it touched, the fuse is working but if it lights up when one terminal is touched and does not light up when the other terminal of the fuse is touched, the fuse is definitely bad.