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The Simple Guide to Fuses

The fuse is a tiny electrical component that is designed to protect your car parts from excessive current flow damage. When it comes to car fuses, most of them are designed for 12V electrical systems. So, different fuses are distinguished by how many amperes (units of electrical current) they can handle. Fuses are usually located in the fuse box of a car, but their can be inline fuses from time to time, depending on the component they have to protect.

Here we will tell you the basics of what you need to know about this tiny but important electrical part:

 

fuses in action

Types of Automotive Fuses

In this simple guide to fuses, we are going to take a look at the different types of fuses in cars and the role they play so you can properly understand them.

There are five basic types of automotive fuses, including:

  • Blade
  • Glass Tube
  • Lucas
  • Bosch
  • Limiter

 

Blade Type Fuse

blade type fuse

The blade type fuse was developed back in the 70s and has been used in cars since the early 80s. These fuses come in various sizes, all with the same basic design that features two metal blades covered by thin translucent plastic, connected by a piece of metal that is thinner than the blades. This thin metal is essentially the fuse that fails if the current flowing through it is too high.

The thickness and size of the blade type fuse depends on the ampere rating of the fuse and what it is designed to protect.

 

Bosch Type Fuse

Primarily made of ceramic or plastic materials, Bosch type fuses have pointed end caps. Inside the two metal caps is a thin strip or wire that connects the two ends and provides a connection. This strip is designed to fail when the current passing through them is too high. While these fuses are no longer seen in modern cars, you can still see them in old European cars.

 

Glass Tube Fuses

glass tube fuses

Glass tube fuses were the primary fuses used in vehicles before blade type fuses were developed. This fuse is composed of a glass cylinder that has two metal end caps and a thin wire in between. The thin strip is designed to fail when the current passing through it is too high. While they are no longer used in modern vehicles, glass tube fuses are still available for older models.

 

Fuse Failure

There are a number of reasons why a fuse can fail. It can simply be because the fuse has aged quite a bit or there might be an issue within the circuit it was designed to protect. As long as the amperage rating of the fuse matches properly with where it is used, the fuse won’t fail when everything in the circuit should be working fine. The fuse will only blow if there is an issue in the circuit.

While it is very easy to tell if a fuse is blown just by taking a look at it, sometimes fuses fail in a way that they look like they are still properly connected. You should always use a test light to check if the fuses are still working properly.

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