What are Fuse Blocks?
Fuse blocks are important electrical components intended to protect a vehicle's electrical devices from shorts or power surges. The fuse blocks contain fuses rated at different amperage values depending upon the electrical device that it is protecting. Upon a sudden voltage spike or short, the fuse will burn out, protecting the affected device.
Changing an automotive fuse is a straight-forward operation. Once the appropriate blown fuse has been located, it is pulled from its mounting location within the fuse block. A new fuse is simply inserted into the vacated location in the fuse block. It is imperative that the same amperage rated fuse is used when changing any blown fuse.
Automotive fuse blocks use fuses rated from 15 to 30 amps. This rating coincides with a particular electrical component's ability to withstand damage. The fuse blocks are designed to allow the fuse to blow or burn out before the component can be damaged. Replacing any blown fuse with a fuse of a higher amperage rating could cause irreparable damage to the vehicle's electrical component.
There are several different types of fuses located within fuse blocks. Vehicles made by manufacturers before 1980 may have glass fuses. The more common plastic, push-in type fuses were used in fuse blocks from the 1980s to present worldwide. Found in limited use are mini-fuses. These fuses resemble the plastic, push-in type fuse; however, they are much smaller.
Fuse blocks can be found in the dashboard of most vehicles. Some vehicles have fuse blocks located within the engine compartment. Refer to the operator's manual of a vehicle to find the fuse block location. It is a good idea to locate the fuse block as well as to become familiar with the fuse locations during daylight hours. This eases the difficulty of locating a particular fuse in the dark should a problem ever arise.
While the typical automotive fuse block is designed to operate for the life of the vehicle, there is occasionally the need to replace it. Many after-market companies manufacture replacement fuse block and wiring systems. Many of these are color coded with the particular vehicle manufacturer's wiring colors. Others are labeled on the wire itself as to its purpose.
Automotive fuse blocks need no particular maintenance. It is, however, important that the fuse block be kept dry and free of any debris. There should be a free flow of air provided to the fuse block to prevent heat build-up. An occasional check of the fuses to locate any loose fuse should be part of a vehicle's preventative maintenance routine.
What are rocker switches?
Rocker switches are electrical switches that are equipped with a spring-loaded button. When the button is pressed in one position, a circuit is completed. If the button is released, the spring-loaded operation pushes the button back to its resting position and the circuit is open.
Some rocker switches operate more than one circuit on the same button. An excellent example is a power door lock switch. When the lock button is pressed, the power lock actuator is commanded to lock. When the button is released, the switch springs back to the resting position and power no longer is sent to the lock actuator to lock the door, though it remains in the locked position. The other end of the rocker switch is the unlock button. When it is pressed and released, the same function occurs with the lock actuator for the unlocked position.
Some rocker switches activate a timer and when the button is released, the function continues to operate until the timer turns off, such as a rear window defogger grid button.
How are they used in cars?
As noted, rocker switches are used in some models as power door lock switches. Other uses include:
Heated seat switches
Rear window defogger grids
Power window controls
Rocker switches are popular in many kinds of systems because of their ease of use. Because the function usually turns off when the button is released or when a timer automatically turns off, they don’t require the same attention as other switches, such as a toggle switch.
How to Wire a Light Bar with a 5 Pin Rocker Switch
Wiring a light bar switch can seem like an intimidating task but it’s actually quite the opposite and you can have all the wiring done under 5 minutes. The most challenging part of the installation process can be understanding where all the different wires go but don’t worry as we will walk you through the process.
Understanding the light bar switch
A 5 pin light bar rocker switch is one of the most popular light bar switches because it is rectangle in shape, and typically blends with most vehicles interior’s. The rocker switch operates a light bar by pushing the top portion of the switch and to turn the light bar switch off you simply push it the lower part of the switch.
Another reason why the 5 Pin rocker switch is popular for light bars is because they have an illuminated light that can work with your factory interior dash lighting. When the light bar switch is on another light will be illuminated on the light bar rocker switch notifying you that the switch is currently powering whichever light bar you have connected to it.
It’s the law
When it comes to installing aftermarket auxiliary lighting on your vehicle you need to cognizant of your state’s laws. For example, here in the state of Pennsylvania you are required to have light bar switch that illuminates when the light is on. The purpose of this law is they want to make sure the driver knows when the auxiliary light bar is on, so you don’t blind on coming traffic.
Lets check out the back
On the back of a 5-pin light bar rocker switch is 5 pins that all have specific purposes.
The switch is standing upright so we will start from the top to the bottom:
#8 Is the Ground for the switches upper light – (This terminal can be grounded together with #7)
-#7 Is the Ground for the switches lower light - (This terminal can be grounded together with #8, except in the occasions that you are wiring the switch lights with your vehicles factory light dimmer)
#2 Is the Positive power from the battery or Power source that has a fuse (This terminal can be combined with #6)
#3 Is the Positive power that goes to the light bar (This is the only terminal that cannot be combined with another terminal)
#6 Is the Positive power that goes to the lower light (This terminal can be combined with #2)
How to make the light bar Jumper Cables
You will need to make two jumper cables:
Ground Jumper Cables – These will be foe the ground for #8 Ground for the upper light, #7 Ground for lower light
Positive Jumper Cables – This will be for #2 Incoming Power source, and #6 Power for the lower light
Once that is complete, run the rest of the light bar wiring and you are good to go.
If you are trying to convert a 3 pin light bar switch to a 5 pin rocker switch, then please read below.
To wire a 3 pin switch to a 5pin rocker switch you need to find out what your 3 wires do. Aurora wiring harnesses are set-up as black = ground/negative, red = positive, blue = power to lighting product. If you are using any other wiring harness you will need to test each wire to find out which wire represents power, ground and power to the LED lighting product.