Fuses, Switches, Circuit Breakers And Relays
Most vehicles use one or more fuse panels. This one is located on the driver’s side kick panel
It is possible for large surges of current to pass through the electrical system of your vehicle. If this surge of current were to reach the load in the circuit, this surge could burn it out or cause severe damage to the vehicle’s electrical system. It can overload the wiring, causing the harness to get hot and melt the insulation. To protect vehicle wiring, fuses, circuit breakers and/or fusible links are typically installed into the power supply wires throughout the electrical system. These items are nothing more than a built-in weak spot in the system. When an excessive amount of current flows through a circuit it causes an increase in heat throughout the wiring. Fuses and circuit breakers are designed as the weak link in the system and will disconnect the circuit to prevent damage to the components contained within that circuit. Components are equipped with connectors so they may be replaced in situations where they were damaged due to a power surge.
The following are descriptions as to how fuses and circuit breakers protect the electrical system:
- Fuse- A fuse is a weak link in the system designed to create an open circuit when the amperage flowing through that circuit exceeds the limits of the fuse. As the amperage increases, the conductor within the fuse heats up and eventually melts and breaks apart. This open circuit interrupts the flow of current and protects the components in the circuit.
- Circuit Breaker- A circuit breaker is a "self-repairing" fuse. It will open the circuit in the same fashion as a fuse. The surge creates heat the same way that a fuse is affected. When the surge subsides and the circuit cools down, the circuit breaker will reset and allow current to flow through the circuit. Typically circuit breakers do not need to be replaced.
- Fusible Link- A fusible link (fuse link or main link) is a short length of special, high temperature insulated wire that acts as a fuse. When an excessive electrical current passes through a fusible link, the thin gauge wire inside the link melts, creating an open to protect the circuit. To repair the circuit, the link must be replaced. Some newer type fusible links are housed in plug-in modules, which are simply replaced like a fuse, while older type fusible links must be cut and spliced if they melt
Always replace fuses, circuit breakers and fusible links with identically rated components. Under no circumstances should a protection device of higher or lower amperage rating be substituted.
I would get a fuse tester that can test fuses while still installed and powered up. It will light if the fuse is blown when applied to the two tabs that are exposed on fuses that are installed in your Ford product.
Check the fuse box under the dash on the driver's side, and check to see if there are any fuses under the hood.
If you don't have the tool, try to look for stickers or download the manual from ford.com.