Fuses are an essential part of any electrical system.
They are designed to fail automatically in the event of an electrical overload or short—sacrificing themselves to save your wiring harness.
Given the nature of how fuses work, it’s critical that you use the proper amp rating for the circuit. Too low a value and your fuses will blow prematurely, while using too high a value defeats the purpose of the fuse in the first place.
There are several automotive fuse types, but today we’re talking about the blade-style fuses found in most modern cars made after 1980. Keep in mind that there are several different types of blade fuses beyond the standard ATC size too, including Mini (ATM), Maxi (APX), and Low-Profile Micro (ATT) styles.
Regardless of the style of blade fuse, these fuses—used in automotive (and other electrical component) applications—typically follow a standard color-coding scheme that makes it easy to identify their respective electrical current ratings.
At first you might think “Heck, it’s easy to identify these, they’ve got the number written right on ’em. I don’t need to know the color.”
And that’s somewhat correct, though some fuses simply have the number embossed in the plastic and not painted. More importantly, fuse boxes often are located in the dark recesses under a dashboard or in a dirty engine bay where they can be difficult to read.
That’s why being able to identify them by their color is such a big help. We looked to the fuse experts at Bussman to help compile these handy guides.
You can use the virtual table below or CLICK HERE for a handy downloadable chart that has both the colors displayed and the color names spelled out. That way, you can use it regardless of whether you print it with a color printer or not.
Fuse Color Codes, by Amp
|* Some of the colors repeat. This is because all fuse types have limits; for example, MAXI fuses do not go below 20 amps and AGC fuses don’t go above 50 amps.|