How Much Does a Car Fuse Box Replacement Cost?

Written by: Staff

The car’s fuse box holds the fuses, which are low-resistance resistor devices that will protect the circuits of the car from an excessive current, and if a fuse receives a higher current than it’s designed for, it will “blow,” protecting the circuit from this flow.

A fuse box can often fail from either physical damage or electrical issues.

If your fuses appear to be in great shape but nothing is working inside of your car, then there’s a good chance the fuse box needs to be replaced.

Car’s Fuse Box by Henrique Vicente, on Flickr
Car’s Fuse Box” (CC BY 2.0) by  Henrique Vicente

 How much does it cost to replace a fuse box in a car?

On average, a fuse box will cost anywhere from $5 to as much as $60, depending on the retailer, what it’s made from and the car you drive.  If a mechanic has to install it for you, then the labor costs can range anywhere from $65 to $110. says the average fuse box can cost as little as $5 to more than $400, but before considering an expensive box, the website recommends the design, installation, and material it’s made from.

Replacing a fuse box in the car

During the repair, the battery will be disconnected and fuse box will be located.  Most fuse boxes today are either located under the hood or underneath the dashboard, near the steering wheel.  Inside the fuse box will be a large red cable, referred to as a battery supply cable.  This cable will be unscrewed, and if other cables are around the box, then these will be removed as well.  By this time, the fuse box can be wiggled free, the fuses will be removed inside and the new one will be installed in its place.  The job can take a mechanic about 90 minutes to complete.

What are the extra costs?

A fuse testing tool may be required to test a fuse if you were to do the repair at home.  The tool, which is used to touch and check each fuse, costs about $5 and can be bought at an auto parts store.

Tips to know:

A replacement fuse box should have the same amperage as the original one and should also be of the same color and size.  Fuses come in various sizes and are usually color-coded for amperage.  Replacing a fuse with one that has higher amperage can cause wires to melt, which usually causes more serious problems.  If the replacement has lower amperage, it will not be able to provide enough power to operate electronics.

The best way to find a fuse box is to consult the vehicle’s owner’s manual, which contains information on the location of the box and a description of every fuse as well as the electrical setup that goes with it.  If you don’t have the owner’s manual, then it’s best to consult with the manufacturer.

If yanking out a fuse is difficult, use a plug puller, which is often provided in the fuse box.  If you can’t find one, try using a pair of tweezers.

When taking out a tubular fuse, pry up one of the end caps first to avoid breaking the fuse.  A very small standard screwdriver or pliers can be used to pry out the fuse.

The location of a fuse box often depends on what circuit it is made to protect.  If it is not under the hood or dash, it is most likely installed in the trunk.  This type of fuse is usually provided for accessories that are not installed in the factory.  Referred to as a remote in-line fuse, it can be found by tracing the wire from the accessory to the fuse panel.

Before buying a fuse, it is important to take note that the fuse panel cover often comes with spare fuses and sometimes a fuse puller.  They can be purchased at auto parts store and some service stations.

Clearly mark your fuses and the wires you’re removing beforehand, so when you go in reverse order, it will be easier to put everything back together with ease.

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