View Full Version : Recurrent fuse problem

12-10-2008, 06:42 AM
So after 16 years of never having a blown fuse, the same fuse has blown twice in the car in the last 3 months. Both times at night which was a b-i-t-c-h when I tell you which one it was.

It controls the display lights, i.e. speedometer etc, lights on auto tranny shift labels and the tail lights. The brake lights still work but the tail lights don't. It's like a $1 part and I found the offending fuse in the driver footwell but why does it keep going out?

Tonight I was driving home in a snowy blizzard in chicago on Summer tires, trying desperately to stay alive and the last thing I need was to lose tail and display lights!

I assume this has something to do with the clear corners or clear bumpers I put in around 6 months ago. I got the clear bumpers from Matrix Racing. The corners are OEM. Any suggestions? It's not a pain in the a** to change, especially if it only goes every 3 months or so but it's a safety issue.

12-10-2008, 06:49 AM
Check your wiring..

It could also happen if you have the wrong bulbs.

12-10-2008, 07:37 AM
^ yup, if a circuit cant use all of its supplied voltage, something will give (fuse). It can also be caused by a wire becoming stripped and creating a short to ground before it's intended component (or a blown component causing a like condition, not applicable for bulbs however)

12-10-2008, 04:37 PM
As long as you used the OEM bulb sockets in your new lights I wouldn't worry about them yet.

First thing to check is the fuse socket itself.

12-10-2008, 09:47 PM
Ok thanks. I will try and figure this out. Auto electrics are a leap beyond me but you live and learn. What should I be looking for exactly with regards to the socket?

12-11-2008, 04:58 PM
Make sure the fuse sits in there snug.
Look for burned marks or melted plastic.

12-11-2008, 08:31 PM
Ok so i pulled and repalced it and it is indeed exactly the same fuse as last time. A little blue 15 amp one (if you are looking at the fuse socket in the footwell it would be on the right at the bottom). There are no discernable buirn marks or burnt plastic. It has merely blown as a fuse normally does. I don't know where to start looking for the issue and am not prepared to pay an auto electrician for the privelege. i figure there is an issue in the dome, running or tail lights circuitry somewhere.

12-11-2008, 08:32 PM
Does the fuse fit in there nice and snug?

I had the same problem with my brake light fuse. I ended up just bending my fuse when i put it so it would still make complete contact in the socket.

12-12-2008, 12:14 AM
I'm pretty sure it does yes. Let me double check though. Honestly, it seemed to go in there very nicely.

12-14-2008, 12:10 AM
Ok so it happened AGAIN. Arrgghh!!! That's twice in 3 days. Had to drive home with hazards on because I didn'thave a torch to find the fuse. But of course once I got home I found it was the exact same one. The fuse sits nice and snugly so I don'tthink it is the socket, i looked insideand it looks cleanand in good condition. So any ideas where my problem is?It's almost unsafe to drive it right now and I have to drive home in the dark every night from work. Does knowing the exact fusehelp track down the problem?

If i look at the bank of fuses (9 I believe all arranged vertically) it is the one on the bottom right (blue 15 amps). Same one every time.

I really need some help here.

EDIT: Looking through it I think I have discovered it is the fuse (orfusible link..whatever it is called) for the Tail. i.e. Number 9 on junction box 1. Anything I should look for then?

12-14-2008, 12:17 AM
Did you check all the housings in question for water, bulb fit, plug fit, etc.? There's also an electrical box in the trunk that deals with tails too unless I'm thinking of something else

12-14-2008, 12:22 AM
Thanks T-Spoon I am going to check right now.

12-14-2008, 12:31 AM
If you wired in a aftermarket head unit check and make sure you taped off every loose wire even if it's not showing exposed wiring, any loose wires not attached could cause problems.

12-22-2008, 01:57 AM
Ok so I chcked the housings andexternal wiring and I cannot see anything discernably obvious wrong with them, yet after a few days fine the same fuse continues to blow out which is a real bitch. Can anyone help?

My current plan is to stick an auto reset circuit breaker in there so I am not running without tail lights at night. Yet to see how well that pans out though.

12-22-2008, 02:52 AM
this is sounding like a short somewhere...possibly an exposed wire somewhere..

12-22-2008, 06:05 AM
did you wire anything to that fuse? like for your cd player or your gauges if your got after market indaglo ones? the corners shouldn't be the problem due to the fact that they are just a plastic frame around the blubs. are you running bigger or brighter blubs?

12-22-2008, 06:27 AM
No, no and no. I haven't wired anything new in or changed anything that hasn't been there since the car was built. The only thing I ever changed were the clear corners and clear bumpers. The first time the fuse went out was a few months after that. I have also now noticed that when it is really, really cold (as it is here in Chicago often this time of year) the problem is much much worse. Same if it is wet out. I'm going to check the housing again for condensation or something, can't think what else to do.

There's definitely something up suddenly because another thing that is popping up intermittently (again when it veyr cold) is the central locking. If I use it, it locks and then unlocks again immediately...almost instantaneously, without a pasue....lock..unlock. So weird. So sometimes I have to just lock the doors manually. Again, this is a new problem. I don't know if they are connected but I will say that when the central lock acted up this morning I knew the fuse would blow out on the lights tonight...lo and behold it did. I changed it and it did again within 10 secs. So i left it. The most interesting fact is that 1. Last night I hosed down the car 2. Temperatures dropped massively last night to below freezing today.

12-22-2008, 06:31 AM
The car will not allow you to lock the doors if the key is in the ignition and the door is open -- it's to prevent you locking your keys in the car.

If your door switches are stuck/frozen, that could explain why.

12-22-2008, 06:54 PM
Ahh so weird. I recently put new door sensors in after the old ones didn't work for the last 8 years or so so I guess I just forgot about that feature. Thanks! Nice to know it's not crazy.

Back to my fuse problem. I'm f*cked basically. I have to drive this car to work tonight but will have no tail lights or dash lights on my way home (in the snowy dark!). Getting really pissed. I've checked all the housings and no luck. I changed the fuse and the lights came on fine but as soon as I fired up the engine it shorted out. This happened three times in a row.

Now when I go to pop the fuse in it gave me a park and blows out right away. As luck would have it I took it to a mechanic and then all day it wouldn't replicate the problem so they couldn't find it. Then next day of course it won't hold a fuse for more than 2 secs. I really need help here.

There is a cable under the seat that actually plugs into the drivers seat, I am assuming it is a weight sensor or something. I can see that the wires have come out of the socket and are exposed, can this be related? I didn't think so because I didn't think it was on the same fuse as the running lights, dash lights and tail lights.

12-22-2008, 08:37 PM
There is a cable under the seat that actually plugs into the drivers seat, I am assuming it is a weight sensor or something. I can see that the wires have come out of the socket and are exposed, can this be related? I didn't think so because I didn't think it was on the same fuse as the running lights, dash lights and tail lights.
no the harness under the seat is either for the lumbar support or possibly your seat belt warning. Not related at all.

The fuse you are blowing is called 'tail' I believe and it includes the dash lights, tail lights, and marker lights.

First thing to do is unplug your dimmer switch for your dash lights, this should effectively disconnect that part of the circuit, then drive around for a day with your lights on and see if the fuse blows (if you can't get it to blow then suspect that section first ). If it still blows then take all your bulbs out (tail and marker...but not brake) and again drive around. Try to move push and rattle all the parts you can reach while driving to see where the short is happening.

Is the deck stock or aftermarket? Because there is a hot lead behind the stereo directly connected to your dash lights to enable the stock stereo to dim with the gauges, if the deck is aftermarket this wire is often left exposed or tied to something that will blow it at odd times.

Try running the car with everything plugged in and attached and all the lights on and then go around and bang on all the light housings and wiggle all the wires you can reach...especially the ground for your taillights.

Good luck

12-26-2008, 08:32 PM
Ok thanks for all the informative responses. So....it took a while, which was not fun in the bitter cold, but finally I found the problem (i think).

There was a wire attached to the power wire of the left clear corner light. It was just hanging down inside the fender. I can only assume it was from an old alarm system that the wife had on the car before I met her. Anyway, I removed it, taped up the wire and hey presto....no problem since. Keeping fingers crossed though!

12-27-2008, 08:10 PM
The wire was either from an old alarm or an old foglight harness. Either way that was probably your issue