A car’s electrical system has many wires and fuses that serve the purpose of supplying electrical power and act as a fail-safe. You must have heard about and seen a fuse but if you don’t know what a fusible link is, you are in for a lot of knowledge.
A fusible link basically acts exactly as a fuse and prevents any surge in the electrical circuit it is connected to. Fusible links are strands of wire covered in protective layers that are connected to different components, are smaller in gauge, and melt in case of an electrical spike, protecting the crucial electronic parts from any serious damage and avoiding any unforeseen occurrence.
In this article, we will help you understand what does a blown fusible link look like, what symptoms to look for in case of a blown fusible link, how to check if a fuse is blown, and fusible link replacement.
6 Most Common Symptoms of a Bad Fusible Link
Diagnosing a blown fusible link can be a daunting task as the symptoms are not very obvious. If you want to understand what does a blown fusible link look like, these are the most common symptoms to look for in case of a blown fusible link;
1- Faulty Automatic Windows
This might be the first sign that you notice when there’s an issue with the fusible link. When you try to roll the windows up or down, either they would get stuck halfway or do not move at all.
If you face this problem in your car, suspect a problem with the fusible link, especially if your car has a healthy battery and no other apparent electrical problem.
2- Problems with Central Locking
If all 4 doors on your car fail to lock and unlock at the same time, it could potentially be a blown fusible link.
When the system doesn’t get its required electrical power due to a bad relay (fusible link), the door locks fail to engage and don’t respond to the command. If you’re unlocking your car using the key, get the fuse checked for any damage.
3- Limping Windshield Wipers
If driving on a rainy day, you find your wipers to be limping or not working at all, you should stop immediately and check the fusible link.
The wiper motor requires adequate power to function and if the link has gone bad, it would simply give up and not work at all. This is a safety risk and a very potent symptom of a bad fusible link in your car.
4- infotainment System Issues
The radio, sound system, and multimedia on your car also work on the battery and are linked to the fusible link in the circuit. If the fuse gets blown to a short circuit or power surge, you’d not be able to use or control the infotainment system of your car.
Although this problem could also occur due to loose wiring or faulty joints, a blown fusible link should also be considered if other components are working fine.
5- Dim/Flickering Lights
The lighting on your car is powered by the charging system involving the battery and the relays. If the fusible relay has blown, the system would not be able to supply adequate power to these components, especially the head and taillights and you’d notice dim or flickering lights when driving at night.
This is also a very common symptom of a bad fusible link and should alert you regarding this problem.
6- Battery Problems
The fusible link regulates the charging of the battery of the car, therefore if it malfunctions or becomes damaged, your car’s battery will lose power and render some important components useless. It may be even an additional blatant sign that the old fusible link must be replaced.
You can experience problems starting or operating your car as a result of a failing battery if a fusible link is blown or malfunctioning. Additionally, most of the electronic components and equipment won’t also work optimally if the fusible relay is damaged.
How to Check if a Fuse is Blown?
You could simply tell by taking a look at the wire. The fusible link is usually located near the battery; it is a rubber-wrapped wire that has the label “Fusible Link” to help you identify it in case of an incident. If you cannot find any physical damage or melted wires nearby, you’ve to get it diagnosed or check the continuity.
To check the continuity, attach one clip of the voltmeter to the circuit’s one end and another clip on the other end. If there’s continuity in the voltmeter, the fusible link is fine, otherwise, it is a fault and must be replaced.
How to Fix a Bad Fusible Link?
The fusible link is a small wire that acts as a fail-safe in case of a power surge or short circuit. Whenever there’s an electrical hotspot or surge, the fusible link gets badly damaged or even melts, to prevent any further damage.
In almost all cases, it doesn’t make sense to try to repair and the fusible link replacement is the only sensible choice. Let’s go over the steps of fusible link replacement to help you with the procedure.
1. First of all, locate the damaged fusible link in your car and safely remove it from the circuit.
2. Then get a good quality replacement, one that is compatible with your car.
3. install the new link and securely attach all the connections in the circuit.
4. Then weatherproof the fusible link, ideally with a Teflon or silicon covering and you’re good to go.
A fusible link, no matter how small or meager, is essential for preserving the electrical function and safety of your car since it guards against electrical damage due to current overload and maintains an optimal internal electric flow.
The symptoms we just discussed shall help you diagnose the fusible link problems and make replacement easier for you. It is always better to replace the blown fusible link rather than trying to fix this $3 piece of wire.