Posts Tagged ‘fuse’


Why Don’t My Power Locks Work?


Last week, my car battery died and I tried to jump it with my wife’s car.  Having not jumped a car before in my life, I placed the red cable on the red cable running from the fuse box instead of the battery red cable.  There was a popping sound, and now my power locks don’t work.  What can I do to fix this?

-Patrick M., AK


Don’t worry, we’ve all make mistakes like this before!  It sounds to me like you’ve simply blown  fuse.  Look back in that fuse box you found and check the manual to see which fuse is for the power locks.  While you’re at it, you might as well check all the other fuses, it’s possible they were effected as well.

When you check the fuses, look for small burn marks along the filament of the fuse, which implies a burn out.

- Ken the Car Guy


What’s Wrong With My Power Seats?


My power seat doesn’t work correctly.  It will move the seat forward and backward, but I can no longer control the angle that the seat sits at.  Could it be a fuse?  If so, how do I replace it?

-Jeff R., CA


The problem can’t be  fuse, since all seat controls are run through the same breaker.  At this point, it’s safe to assume the problem is either with the control, or with the motor.

To test which of these it is, you’ll need to check the output of the control.  One way to do this is with a voltmeter; check for changing voltage going to the motor in the seat when you press the switch.

An easier way to test is to turn the dome light on in the car (preferably at night) and check to see if the light dims when you use the control.  If the light dims, or you measure voltage from the control lines, then the control is fine and the motor is likely blown.  The opposite is also true: If the light does not dim, you’ll probably need a new control unit.

- Ken the Car Guy


How Do I Prime The Oil Pump?


I’m changing some bad oil and would like to prime the oil pump without removing the pump itself.  How can I do this?

-Dana R., IL


My method is as follows:

First I drain all the old oil thoroughly and fill it up with new.  Next step is to remove the oil pump fuse so it won’t pump when you turn over the engine.  After that, all you need to do is turn over the engine for 10 seconds or so and it should be fully primed.

Most modern engines are designed to run properly without priming.  In that case, you really don’t need to worry about it.  Just fire up the engine and the oil pump will self prime in seconds.

- Ken the Car Guy


Did I Just Kill My Battery?


I was replacing my old alternator and forgot to disconnect the battery.  While moving things around, I accidentally crossed the positive and negative wires on the alternator, which made a big spark and now nothing seems to work.  Is my battery toast?

-Michael D., IN


Don’t worry, you’re not the first to make this mistake.  I remember a similar thing happening to me many years ago.  I too was messing with the alternator and after a frightening spark, the wires were dead.  In my case, I had only blown a fuse.

Check the user manual for your car to figure out where your fuse box is, and look for a large amperage fuse, somewhere around 120 A.  If this fuse is busted, you’re in luck and there is probably no damage.  If the fuse is in good shape, you might have melted a wire or connection between the alternator and the battery.  Use a multimeter to test all of the wires running to the battery to see where the damage is.  While you’re at it, use the multimeter to test the battery to make sure it’s still pumping out 12 Volts.

- Ken the Car Guy


Why Won’t My Cigarette Lighters Work?

Ken,All of the 12V cigarette lighters suddenly gave out in my truck.  The battery is fine because the truck starts, so what could be the problem?  Bad wiring?

- Charlie S., ID


While bad wiring could cause the problem you’re experiencing, this is most likely a fuse issue.  Depending on your type of truck, the fuse box could either be under the hood, or under the steering wheel.

If you’ve been running an inverter or other electronics from your cigarette lighter, you may have overloaded the circuit and blown a fuse.  Replacement fuses are cheap and easy to install, so don’t bother bringing the truck to the shop.  Most cars run 12V DC through either a 15 A or 20 A fuse.  Your fuse box or car manual should tell you exactly which fuse you need to replace.

With any luck, you’ll be powered up in no time.

- Ken the Car Guy


Why Doesn’t the Car’s Cigarette Lighter Work?

Dear Ken, just bought a used car on Cars for a Grand, but the found out the cigarette lighter plug doesn’t work.

I’ve been trying to use it to charge my cellphone and for my portable DVD player.

Could it be a fuse? Can’t seem to figure it out.

- Zach U., VT

Dear Zach, sorry to hear you can’t watch DVD while’s driving. Seriously though, it’s an easy fix. It’s most likely a burned out fuse. Just find out which fuse is for the lighter, and then replace it.

Hope this helps.

- Ken the Car Guy