Finding and replacing bad fuses in a Chevy motorhome - Using a fuse tester.
Might as well replace them all at the same time...
Tools and Materials needed:
- Replacement fuses of assorted sizes
- Flashlight or other light source
- Needle nosed pliers (optional)
- Fuse tester (optional if you're replacing all fuses)
Total time required:
- Ten minutes
The fuse panel in my Shasta motorhome is located way up underneath the dash on the door side of the steering wheel. I understand Chevrolet's desire to position this panel in an unobtrusive location. Fuses aren't something you have to deal with every day, in fact unless you're having some sort of electrical problems, you rarely have to deal with fuses at all. Under ideal circumstances they'll last for years so I can understand the philosophy of positioning the fuse panel where it won't be in the way of anything else. Where they've placed it is definitely out of the way. Just getting a direct line of sight on it requires a little bit of contortionist's work and some strong neck and back muscles.
Replacing fuses is easy work. It simply involves pulling the old fuse out and sliding a new fuse in. My philosophy with regard to changing them has always been to do them all at once. If one fuse goes bad (assuming you don't have some sort of electrical problem which could fry a new fuse in a second), there's a very good possibility that your other fuses could be nearing the end of their functional lifespan as well. Fuses are cheap enough and the job is easy enough that it just makes sense to do them all at once. Why not be done with it and not have to worry about fuses period for the next five of six years (or even longer)?
I got these blade type fuses on sale at Harbor Freight for $4.99. The set contains 120 of the most common automotive fuse sizes, twenty each of 5-amp, 10-amp, 15-amp, 20-amp, 25-amp and 30-amp fuses. I'll never need anywhere near that many fuses but the blade type also fits my Ford Aerostar. For five bucks I won't ever need another automotive fuse. That's not a bad deal.
The quickest way to determine whether a fuse is still good or not is to test it with a fuse tester like the one pictured at right. All you need is a simple 6 or 12-volt circuit tester (make sure it can test automotive fuses) which can be purchased at any auto parts store for less than $10.00 (mine was $5.99 at Harbor Freight Tools).
With the fuse tester's clip attached to a proper ground, start the vehicle (or turn your ignition key counter clockwise so that power is on). Using the pointed end of the tester, touch it lightly to the exposed terminal on the end of the fuse you want to test. Click the image at left to enlarge it and you'll see the shiny ends of the fuse terminals, as well as the point of the tester being touched to one. If you've grounded the tester properly and the power is on, a good fuse will light up a small bulb inside the tester itself. No light equals a bad fuse (some testers make an audible "click" as well).