What Are Fuses in a Vehicle?

Cars are complicated pieces of modern equipment. And most cars in this day in age come with a variety of extras. New cars are even required to include computers to monitor different functions and crash safety data. Because cars include all sorts of different electrical systems, they, just like houses, include a fuse box. The functionality of the fuse box can play a role in the occurrence of a Kansas City auto accident.     

Where Are Fuse Boxes Located in Cars?

Fuse boxes are located in different places in different vehicles. Some are set next to the steering wheel on the inside of the door frame. Other cars place the fuse box in the engine so you can reach it with the hood up. Some vehicles may even have the fuses in the trunk. It is important to know where the fuse box is on your vehicle.      

Why are the fuses important? The fuses control a great deal of a vehicle’s electrical system. From the gauges inside to the headlights, fuses play a role in many things the car does.       

When a fuse blows it can do damage to the car in a variety of ways. If a fuse blows it may cause a light to go out. For example, a fuse may knock out a turn signal light. The key is that when a fuse blows, your car may not register that the light is out. Many cars have features to alert you when lights go out, such as your turn signal blinking much faster than normal. But sometimes when fuses blow, they bypass this feature.       

Another problem with a blown fuse is that if left unchecked they can sometimes cause problems in other parts of the car. If a blown fuse is left unattended, they can sometimes cause the entire box to burn out. This is not a common scenario, but it can happen.       

These may not sound like big problems, but in combination with other circumstances can be serious. Imagine driving late at night and having all your car’s lights go out simply because a few weeks before, the turn signal fuse gave out. These things can happen.       

Preparedness When Driving

What can be done?  Fuses are not like other parts of the car such as fluids or tires which can be easily checked. Even if the fuse box is easy to find and access, it can be hard to tell what is going on in there. Fuses are small pieces of wire that when stressed, break or blow. This disrupts the circuit that runs through them. The easiest way to check if a fuse has blown is to compare the fuse to another working fuse. You can tell if it is blown when the tiny wire inside is no longer connected as a solid string.       

When looking at fuses you can tell which fuse goes to which part based on the chart located in the inside of the fuse box. If you check the fuses make sure you have the right one for the part you are inspecting. Many fuse boxes include spare fuses in case some have blown out. Additional extra fuses can be bought at many hardware or auto part stores.       

Lastly, the easiest way to make sure your fuses are in good working order is to take your vehicle to a reputable auto mechanic. Doing any of these things yourself can be risky, but in an emergency it is worthwhile to be aware of the options.       

Contact an Attorney

In the event of a blown fuse, or some other problem with the car, try to be careful, and if all else fails and you have been in an accident, please contact the contact the Krause and Kinsman Law Firm for a free consultation about what your rights are when blown fuses contribute to a car accident in Kansas City.

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