First of all, a fuse is an electrical device for safety that helps to prevent overcurrent in an electrical circuit. It mainly consists of a metal wire or strip that melts off with the passage of too much current through it. Thereby, tripping the circuit in general rather than letting the current damage it. So if an alarm is an electrical device that also needs protection from over current, is there a fuse for car alarm? You’ll be surprised!
Yes, every alarm system has a fuse. This fuse is necessary because this is where the alarm system gets power from and it also serves as protection against any form of power surge or over current that might compromise the alarm system. So instead of the whole car alarm system to get damaged, the fuse melts off and trips the whole alarm system, thereby protecting it from certain damage.
The fuse of a car alarm system can be found in the fuse box of the car. Now there are generally two locations to find the fuse box in a vehicle. The first is the dashboard by the driver’s side of the door. This is the cliché place to look. However, sometimes it is not there and you need to look at the second place it is likely to be in – and that’s under the hood of the car, especially the driver’s side.
If the alarm system of your car is having issues, the alarm fuse is one of the first places to go and disconnect the alarm so you can work safely. Or you just want to do a total overhaul of your car alarm system, it is important that you first take out the fuse from the fuse box. Of course, that’s after removing the negative terminal of the battery head.
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DESIGN OF CAR ALARM FUSES
Car alarm fuses are also known as automotive fuses. They come in various shapes and sizes depending on what the manufacturer want to achieve.
However, most car alarm fuses are blade type fuses (micro 2, micro3, low profile mini, mini, regular and mini blade type fuses). This is about how most other fuses in the car also look like. They usually consist of a coloured plastic body and two legs that make it sit pretty inside the socket. Car alarm fuses are generally kept in the fuse block, fuse box, fuse clip, or fuse holder of the vehicle.
CHECKING CAR ALARM FUSES
Car alarm fuses are for just a single use. This means that once it is damaged, you cannot repair it. For your alarm system to keep working you will need to buy and install a new one. But the good news is that you do not need to replace it until it has gone bad.
So in terms of maintenance for a fuse, it is not necessary at all. In fact, by merely looking at the car alarm fuse, you can tell if it still functional or it has blown up. You can tell if it is blown up or broken because you will see that the wire connecting each end has been disconnected and that the continuous wiring of the fuse has melted or broken.
If you are the tech savvy type and you are not satisfied with mere visual inspection, and you feel the need to check even further, you can make use of the multimeter to determine if the fuse is still functioning properly. So for less tech savvy people, you can confirm the integrity of your car alarm fuse using a multimeter by employing any of the two steps in the following paragraphs.
The first way to use the multimeter to check your car alarm is by putting the multimeter in continuity mode. Attach the probes of the multimeter on both ends of the fuse.
This will make the meter do a quick test on the fuse to determine if there is still electrical continuity. If there is an error message displayed by the multimeter, or the resistance reading is very high, this means that the fuse is gone. Just go and buy a new one and replace it.
The second way is to check the actual resistance of the fuse is by making use of the ohm meter setting of the multimeter. As a safety precaution, it is very important that you first remove the fuse from the box or whatever it is connected to before carrying out this test.
So to carry out this test, place the probes of the meter on both ends of the fuse. If you see a reading that is significantly low, or even close to zero, this means that the fuse is intact and the flow of current is continuous. But if the meter displays a high resistance, chances are that the fuse has been compromised and needs to be replaced.
BLOWN CAR ALARM FUSE
If the car alarm fuse is blown, then there’s no gainsaying about this – the alarm system will definitely stop working. So the first thing to do is to look for the alarm fuse in the fuse box. Depending on the manufacturer and the model of the car, there could be different fuse boxes. If you are in doubt, the surest way to find the fuse box is to refer to the operational manual. This will help guide you to the exact location of the fuse box in your car.
Now when you find the fuse box, the next thing to do is to look for the car alarm fuse itself. Most, if not all vehicles have diagrams on them to help you find the actual fuse you are looking for. So the one with the alarm sign is the one you will be looking out for. But we recommend that you check all the fuses in case the alarm fuse is kept in the wrong socket.
As earlier stated, once the alarm fuse is located in the fuse box, do a visual check or a multimeter test to determine if there’s a melted metal wiring or a broken connection in its circuitry. If there in none, then no problem, but if it exists, then the fuse is blown and needs to be changed ASAP.
REPLACING BAD CAR ALARM FUSE
Once it has been confirmed that car alarm fuse is not in good working condition, it has to be replaced so that the car alarm system can start functioning properly again.
And as already stated, the first thing to do is to locate the alarm fuse in the fuse box of the car, and then check if it is blown up. If it is, then you need to quickly buy a new car alarm fuse. It must be the same type, size and power rating of the initially installed one, if not, the new fuse will just be a disaster waiting to happen.
When you get the new one, insert it into the fuse box carefully, making sure that it is in the position where the former one used to be in. The way and manner as to how to insert the car alarm fuse might also be different in each vehicle models.
To clarify this, always remember to cross check with the operational manual of the car alarm system. Once you replace the new alarm fuse, check the alarm system to verify that it is now working properly.
If the alarm system is still unresponsive even after changing the blown fuse with a new one, or the fuse keeps blowing out even after you have put a new one, this means there are underlying electrical problems with the car. At this juncture, you might want to involve the services of an auto electrician.
The fuse of your car alarm system is very important to its wiring, circuitry and protection. Always refer to the operational manual for guidance.
P.S: always remember to remove the negative battery terminal head before you start working on the fuse or fuse box of the car.