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Recently I got in my truck to run some errands, and it wouldn’t start. At first glance, there didn’t seem to be a dead battery or loose battery cables because the dashboard lights and chimes still came on. As my mind started to gravitate towards worse-case scenario causes, I fervently hoped for an easier problem: a blown fuse.
Vehicle fuses are used to protect the wiring and electrical equipment. Sometimes, an issue in a vehicle, whether its a taillight that’s out, or something more considerable like your vehicle not starting, can be caused by a blown fuse.
Thankfully, that was the case for my 2000 Dodge Ram. It’s an old truck and I’m prepared to face mechanical issues as the years, and miles, roll on. This issue, though, was inexpensive to fix, and that’s always welcome in my house!
If a seemingly major issue arises in your vehicle, try not to panic. Start troubleshooting by going for the easier fixes first. If your vehicle doesn’t start, it could be simple things, such as the gear shift not completely placed in park, a loose battery cable, or a blown fuse. For the purposes of this article, I’ll briefly describe how to check the fuses.
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I’ve linked to several different retailers below for your convenience. I encourage you to shop around as I’ve found that each item may sell for less at a different retailer.
Check For A Blown Fuse
Vehicles usually have at least two accesses to fuses; either on the driver’s side of the dashboard or just above the pedals, and in an accessible box located under the hood. Think about where the issue may lie, then check that fuse.
When you pull the panel covers in either location, there’s usually a fuse diagram that identify the fuses by name. Sometimes that info will be in your vehicle manual too.
A tool that’s good to have in your vehicle is a circuit continuity tester. The built-in light will illuminate to tell you when a circuit is live and good to use. It’s also wise to carry some spare fuses in your glove box.
Use the fuse plyers that is stored in the fuse panel or a pair of needle-nose plyers to pull fuses. When replacing a blown fuse, be sure to replace it with one that is the exact amperage, such as 10, 15, or 20.
As you can see in the picture above, the fuse on the left is blown, while the fuse on the right is good.
If you constantly encounter blown fuses, there might be a more significant electrical issue at play that will need to be checked out. Hopefully in your case, it’s just a one-off occurrence which easily be fixed in minutes!
Please check out my video below which gives a more detailed look at changing a blown fuse: