Q: metallic smell from under dash after fuse blew out for interior lights

asked by on September 12, 2017

The car blew its fuse for the interior lights looks as if someone used a 20 amp in place of a 10 amp fuse. After the fuse blew out i noticed my dome light stopped working and that smoke came out from the upper passenger side of the dash. I also noticed that someone had tried to solder something into the area where the bulbs insert on the dome . i took out the 20 amp fuse and it was not smoking anymore, after the smoke i noticed a metallic burning smell kind of smelled like a ozone generator machine its no longer smoking but it still smells like burning metal.

My car has 207510 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Smoke is worrisome as electrical faults do cause fires. Seems like you had smoke only so you are lucky. Obviously, don’t put back a higher capacity (that is, "incorrect") fuse as such will allow too much current to flow on the circuit if something is wrong with the circuit (such as a short to ground). The smoke is suggestive of a big short circuit and that could have damaged wiring insulation, components and so forth. Hopefully, it was just a lighting circuit. If you want operation of the interior/dome light(s) restored, what I would suggest is you request an electrical circuit/component diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you. The circuit will have to be visually inspected to look for physical damage to the wiring and also tested for shorts to ground. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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