The Main Fuse Blows On My 2001 Pontiac Firebird – What Causes This?

Reader Question My 19 yr old has a 2001 Pontiac Firebird. The car stops when she is driving.

It is almost like the timing belt is broken. We took it to a dealer and all he did was replace a fuse and said there was nothing wrong.

The fuse has had to be replaced 2 more times and I am afraid there may be a short in something causing this problem. Do you have any suggestions or
ideas?

Hi there…

If you were at my shop I would perform an electrical test on the vehicle to see if the alternator was overcharging the system or if there was a “drain” on the electrical system.

If the fuse has blown multiple times, that means there is a problem and it is probably in the electrical charging system……battery, alternator, wiring etc. etc.

Just like “tripping a breaker” at your home, there has to be something that either created a large spike in electricity or something sucked or “drained” too much electricity from the engine and the alternator worked its heart out trying to over compensate for the drain.

Questions I would ask your daughter:

1. Have you added any electrical device to the vehicle lately? Radio, amplifier, cell phone charger etc. etc that might be causing an electrical problem?

2. What where you doing when the car died? Were you at a stop sign? Radio was on? Just turned on the headlights? Heard a noise prior to stalling? There is probably a common thread that is happening….”I turned on the _______ and then the engine died” or “I was just plugging in my cell phone charger”

I would also look around and tug on a few of the main battery cables to make sure they are good and tight and not cut or have any visible signs of deterioration that might cause the wire inside to touch something metal under the hood or the engine itself and cause a spark.

Austin

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