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Old 09-13-2003, 11:28 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Bastrop Tx -Central Texas
Posts: 6
corrosion in fuse box

I Recently found out that a little (or a lot of) corrosion in the fuse box can cause some really hard to find electrical problems (hard for me to find that is) such as glow plug lights not coming on and head light not working as well as the horn.

I found in search where someone posted that they turn the fuse to make sure that there is a good connection and they also use a rag with WD 40 on it to wipe the connectors that the fuses sit in.

My question is do you use the WD 40 to clean the connectors when there is already a good bit of corrosion or is there another product to use? I was thinking of alcohol since it evaporates quickly.

Thanks! Cendy

Last edited by Lady Benz; 09-13-2003 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 09-14-2003, 01:23 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,096

That was me. Good Questions.

First off, WD40 displaces moisture, so that is the good news. Whatever product or procedure you use, just get the corrosion off the connectors.

If it were my car and the connectors were heavily corroded, I'd probably pull the fuses in groups, after carefully noting what rating fuse goes in each spot, and clean the brass holders with say a fine sandpaper, steel wool or brush. I would then excessively vacuum all the debris out.

After that I would spray WD40 onto a rag and wipe each connector liberally, erring to the side of too much. Probably spraying a bit into the box generally will not hurt as long as it isn't excessive.

I would then check each end of the fuse to make sure they are clean as they are inserted, but before doing so, wipe with a very lightly WD40 saturated rag.

Once all this is done I would rotate each fuse in it's holder to ensure good contact.

I guess all this is a bit excessive but I have done this before when living in humid climates and it works well.

One other alternative to the aluminum type fuses is to replace them all with the brass type. This doesn't eliminate corrosion but they seem to remain more consistent over the years. Often you can find them on ebay.

Do you know why moisture is getting under your fuse cover? Have you checked the body drains close to the fuse box to make sure they are draining properly? There are typically two, one on each side of the car. It is very important that they stay free and clear otherwise you get water build-up after a rain or carwash.

Hope this helps and may your fuses stay shiny,

'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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Old 09-14-2003, 01:29 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,743
WD-40 may clean better because of its lubricating action and the mild acid in the formulation. Alcohol leaves no residue. I don't think it matters a whole lot what lubricant you use. Rather than just rotating the fuse, which may help temporarily, try removing the fuse and clean all contacts with Scotchbrite or 400 to 600 grit paper. I'm anal-retentive when it comes to electrical contacts.
95 E320 Cabriolet, 131K
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Old 09-14-2003, 10:03 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Joliet Illinois
Posts: 309
Fuse Corrosion

Corroded fuses can cause intermittent and mysterious electrical problems. I like to clean the fuseholder clips about once a year and then coat the ends of the fuses with "Oxguard". It is a special paste that prevents corrosion on electrical connections. It comes in a tube like toothpaste and can be purchased at hardware or home improvement stores in the electrical department. I use it on all light bulbs and 12 volt connector plugs too.

I would not use Oxguard on any low current connectors such as fuel injection plugs because it could possibly affect the electrical signal. Any input on that this from the experts would be appreciated.
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Old 09-14-2003, 01:06 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Kingsport, TN
Posts: 375
Hi there,

After cleaning, I use dielectric grease (very little) as that is made for electric connections.

Has worked for me.

Reinhard Kreutzer
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