The headlight in your motorcycle illuminates to help you see the road clearly, and so other drivers can see you. But if the fuse in your headlight blows, your light can't illuminate, and you are no longer safe on the road. So, what can cause the fuse to blow, and can it happen repeatedly? We researched to provide information on this and more.
Your Harley Davidson headlight blows because there is a higher-than-normal current, which the circuit can't handle. This problem occurs due to the following electrical issues:
- Short circuit to the ground
- Worn and corroded wires
- Connecting wires incorrectly
- Short-circuiting to another circuit
- Crossed wires
Keep reading to learn why the headlight in your motorcycle blows and why it can happen numerous times. Included is a step-by-step guide on how to replace the headlight fuse.
In addition, we have provided measures to help you ensure your headlight is working at all times. Lastly, we have cleared the air on using car fuses for your motorbike.
Reasons Your Motorcycle Headlight Fuse Is Always Blowing
When the fuse in your headlight blows, it means you cannot illuminate the road, risking your safety. The reasons the fuse may blow include:
Short Circuit To The Ground
Short-circuiting to the ground is a common issue that occurs mostly in older motorcycles. As your machine ages, the wires will start corroding, exposing them.
In addition, due to heating and cooling countless times, the wires can become brittle and crack, exposing them in the process.
When exposed wires shake and move around, they may hit some metal inside the headlight. Once this happens, a new electrical path is created from the headlight to the ground. This will either cause the wires to burn or the fuse to blow.
Another reason a wire short to the ground occurs is when wires are cut and flimsily held together by tape.
This can happen, for example, when a new motorcyclist is not too familiar with connecting wires. They end up leaving some wires exposed while connecting them. Sometimes, the tape even comes off, revealing all the wires. As a result, the fuse will blow when the wire touches another metal.
So, if your fuse keeps blowing, the problem could be the wires. You need to check the wires and replace those damaged and worn ones.
Short-Circuiting To Another Circuit
This is another problem that can happen is when two wires with different voltages cross each other. If there is a wire with less voltage that touches another with higher voltage, then the fuse will keep blowing. This is because the one with less voltage takes up more than it can handle.
How To Fix A Blown Headlight Fuse
When a fuse blows, replace it and ensure it has the same amperage. If you replace it with one that has a lower amperage, the fuse will blow. This is because the circuit will be operating at a higher voltage.
On the other hand, you risk damaging the circuit if you replace the fuse with one with a higher amperage. This is because the circuit is not protected from a current with a higher rating. If you try this, a host of other problems can erupt, resulting in more unplanned repairs.
How To Know If Your Headlight Fuse Is Blown
If your fuse has blown for the umpteenth time, you need to take it to a professional to diagnose this issue. It will give you a more lasting solution, rather than replacing the fuse each time it blows.
However, to confirm that the fuse has blown, you need to inspect it and, if necessary, replace it.
Step-By-Step Guide On Checking And Replacing The Headlight Fuse
To check the headlight fuse, follow the steps below:
Switch Off The Ignition
It is safer to check the fuses when you have switched off your motorcycle at the ignition.
Identify Where Your Fuse Box Is
The location of the fuse box depends on the year and model of your Harley Davidson. You can find out this in your manual. If yours is under the seat like most are, move to the next step.
Take Out The Seat
It's not difficult to remove the seat. For example, the following steps show you how to remove the seat from a Rushmore 2014 Harley Davidson:
- Pull back the flap that's at the back of the seat.
- Look for a Phillips screw, unthread and remove it using a Phillips screwdriver.
- Afterward, hold the seat firmly and gently pull it backward and out.
The video below visually explains the simple steps above:
Open The Fuse Box
Remove the cover from the fuse box, and you will see the fuses arranged inside. The box cover has a diagram showing all the fuses and where each is located. This makes it easy for you to identify the headlight fuse.
Examine The Headlight Fuse
With a fuse puller, remove the headlight fuse and check if it has blown. If blown, you will see two metal filaments instead of one continuous U-shaped piece of metal.
Replace The Blown Fuse
Ensure to replace the blown fuse with one that has the same amperage. As you do this, remember that if your fuse has been blowing so many times, your dealer should check for other electrical problems.
Close The Fuse Box
Place the cover back on the fuse box. If you have removed the box, put it back in its original position. Put back the seat and fix the screw you had earlier removed.
Measures To Ensure Headlights Are Working Properly And Efficiently
The headlight is an essential part of your motorbike. If it fails, you will not see the road clearly, nor can others see you. This can be a potential road accident waiting to happen.
To avoid this, there are some measures you need to undertake to ensure your headlights are always working. Below are some tips:
Regularly Clean The Headlights
If your lights are dirty, your headlight may not produce a clear light beam. This can lead to other motorists seeing a foggy light instead of a clear beam.
It's good to be prepared for any eventuality. Your lights can go off unexpectedly in the middle of the night. This is an excellent reason to have extra bulbs with you.
However, that is not enough. You need to know how to install them. Get to know the tools you need. Also, practice several times on how to uninstall and install a bulb.
Ensure Headlight Beams Are Aimed Properly
Riding your bike, especially on rough roads, can cause your headlight to move out of place slowly. This results in the beams of your bike aiming out of precision, preventing you from seeing ahead. If you notice this, take it to a mechanic to fix it.
Can You Use A Car Fuse In A Motorcycle?
Yes, the fuses from a car and motorcycle can be used interchangeably. You only have to be careful to use the correct amperage.
If you have spare fuses and can't read the amperage on them, it is best to throw them away. If you use the wrong amperage, you can damage your car's or motorcycle's electrical system. Both fuses, whether from a car or motorcycle, can be tested using a multimeter.
It is normal for a headlight fuse in your motorcycle to blow once in a while. But, if this keeps happening, there could be an electrical issue that needs to be checked and repaired.
We have explained how to access the fuse box, open it, and replace the headlight fuse. In addition, we have also provided tips on ensuring your headlight is in good working condition at all times. Lastly, you can use the fuse from your car in your motorcycle.
Below are more of our previous posts on Harley Davidson: