Fuse taps a good thing?



I was wondering what people thought of Fuse taps.

I’m adding an FM transmitter to my car and was thinking of using a fuse tap as a simple, easy way of getting power (so I can avoid having to splice any wires). However, I heard that this ruins your fuse box. ie. in the future, you will always need a fuse tap on that fuse or the fuse will fall out. Is that true?


It is true. The fuse tap will bend the contacts in the fuse box to accommodate the widened blade of the fuse with the tap attached. If you remove the fuse tap, the fuse will not make a good, firm connection anymore.

I prefer to use wire taps. If the circuit needs to be removed, you just cover the cut insulation with electrical tape. Here’s what a wire tap looks like. It’s color coded for the wire gauge size to insure a solid connection.



I ended up using this Add-A-Circuit Fuse tap, which goes in place of your original fuse, instead of the cheap fuse tap, which goes over your fuse. It was more expensive, but it worked really well!

For those who are curious, I added it to the radio accessory circuit that turned on with the car. It effectively split the power so the device on the original circuit continued to work in addition to powering my transmitter (you have to add two fuses to the tap, the one parallel to the wire is for the wire).


I don’t have an issue with either a fuse or wire tap but will add this. They’re acceptable on low current applications (you should be fine with the FM transmitter) but they should not be used as part of a main power lead on moderate or high current applications such as stereo amplifiers, fog lamps, moon roofs, and things of that nature.

Higher current pulled through an existing circuit that was not designed for it can lead to problems over time with burned or scaled connectors, etc. In cases like this it would be acceptable to use a fuse or wire tap to trigger a relay which would in turn power whatever is being installed.