Why is My Fuse Box Ticking? Find Answers to Common Concerns

Nobody likes to hear ticking or clicking noise from the car’s fuse box. Even I do not want to listen to that! However, it’s a bit strange; this ticking is a sign of an electrical issue in the vehicle. As a car enthusiast, I will explain “why is my fuse box ticking” and show you some solutions to win over it in this blog.

Well, fuse boxes are essential components to protect the car’s electrical system from damage. They have fuses, relays, and circuits to distribute electrical power evenly. The fuse box under the hood protects engine-related components. Similarly, the one near the dashboard protects cabin elements like power windows and lights.

So, what’s causing the ticking noise then? It may happen due to a relay turning on and off rapidly. Again, A faulty main relay could also cause a ticking noise. Some other causes are a defective breaker, a short circuit, computer failure, a weak battery, and ground resistance.

Common Causes of Ticking in a Car Fuse Box

Several common causes of ticking in a car’s fuse box are there, including:

Failing RelayIntermittent ticking sound, electrical component not functioning properly.
Malfunctioning Circuit BreakerRepeated tripping, ticking noise from the breaker itself.
Loose Fuse Causing Irregular ConnectionIntermittent ticking, an electrical component not functioning properly.
Electrical ShortOccasional ticking noise, the smell of burning plastic, an electrical component not functioning properly.
Weak or Low BatteryOld batteries or batteries with low charge may cause the fuse box clicking very often.
Ground ResistanceUnwanted ticking from the fuse box
Failure of ComputerA technical error in the car computer and an unexpected ticking from the fuse box

Now, I will discuss the reasons in detail. I hope you will take your time to read the rest of the article.

Failing Relay

The common cause of a ticking fuse box is a relay that turns on and off rapidly (1). It may indicate a faulty main relay or a problem with the PCM in certain models of vehicles. However, the affected electrical component may not function properly.


Locate the problem relay. Then, swap it with another relay to see if the noise persists. You can also test to check if it’s functioning correctly. To do so, I suggest you follow these instructions:

  • Remove the relay from the fuse box.
  • Use a wire to jump the two terminals linking to the pins numbered 30 and 87.

If you hear a click sound, it indicates that the relay is functioning correctly. The faulty relay must be replaced if you don’t hear a click (2).

You should check the vehicle manual to identify the correct voltage and resistance levels for the relays. Again, testing the relays with the wrong settings can cause additional damage to the electrical system.

Malfunctioning Circuit Breaker

A faulty circuit breaker can also make a ticking noise in the fuse box of your car (3). Usually, the wear and tear or damage to the wires or break components cause loud buzzing or clicking sounds (4).


A blown fuse can cause a circuit breaker to malfunction. So, locate the fuse box in your car. Then, check to see if there is any blown fuse. If you find one, replace it with a new one with the same amperage rating.

Here are the ways to replace the whole circuit in your fuse box (3):

  • Open the fuse box lid of the fuse box.
  • Locate the circuits. Usually, the small black cubes are circuits.
  • Take a screwdriver and hold its handle close to your ear.
  • Place the screwdriver’s top on all the circuits.
  • If you hear repeated ticking while holding the screwdriver, you have identified the faulty one.
  • Start testing the affected circuit by swapping it. To do this, pull it and another identical circuit.
  • Swap the positions of two similar circuits. If the new one performs well, consider the earlier one has the issue.
  • Replace the affected circuits or call a professional to help in this matter.

Loose Fuse Causing Irregular Connection

A loose fuse may cause an intermittent connection. It leads to a sporadic ticking sound and a faulty electrical component.


“…it’s a 20amp fuse and it sits loosely in the fuse box.”- someone asked about the same issue (5). In another source (6), I found, “…the fuse was loose. The fuse wiggles around and most likely will fall out shortly.” From these readings, I have got the solutions:

  • Replace the blown fuse with a similar amp rating.
  • Check all the connections in the fuse box. Please make sure they are tight and secure.
  • For a loose terminal, you can try slightly bending the metal in the terminal with a pair of small needle-nose pliers (7).
  • Using a soldering iron, you can add some solder to the fuse while it’s on its side (8).
  • If the fuse is easy to pull out, you can re-bend it back into shape (6).
  • You can also use small needle-nose pliers to squeeze the contact points together (9).

Electrical Short

Go close to the fuse box. If you smell burning plastic, electric shorts may be the reason. From this, you can hear frequent ticking from the fuse box.


First, you need to turn off the power to the affected circuit. It will prevent any electrical shock or damage to your electrical system. Next, check if there is any blown fuse in the box. A blown fuse may also indicate an electric shortage. Then, tighten and secure all the connections within the fuse box.

Suppose you find loose or damaged wires. Repair or replace them if necessary. Still, if you cannot locate the source of the electrical short, use a circuit tracer. It will help you find the short lines easily, even if they’re behind a wall (10).

Weak or Low Battery

Someone said on the Club Lexus forum, “I had a dead battery but found a ticking sound coming from the fuse box…” (11). From other sources, too, I have found that a weak or low battery is also the culprit to cause ticking in the fuse box. After all, a battery supplies power and voltage to the circuits and keeps the fuse box silent.


These conversations show that your battery needs to be correctly charged or replaced if it is dead.

Sounds like low voltage (11).”

My first guess would be a low battery or bad connections (12).”

You should ensure the cables and terminals are perfectly connected while replacing the battery.

Ground Resistance

The wiring resistance, particularly the ground wire, can lead to ticking in the car fuse box. According to Fix That Noise (3), the resistance appears on the control of the circuit’s particular (single) side. When the circuit becomes affected, it will cause a clicking noise.


You need to replace the affected circuit. I have already discussed diagnosing and troubleshooting an affected or bad circuit.

Failure of Computer

If your car computer is having technical problems with its computer, there is a chance to hear ticking from the fuse box (3). You can find computer technology for car control and other things in modern cars. But when it faces any malfunction, it will not manage the power and may send incorrect signals.


Unless you have technical experience with car computers, you can call an expert and solve the issue. Otherwise, the whole setup may be affected if you try to solve the problem without knowing the ways.

Preventive Maintenance for a Healthy Fuse Box

You can maintain the health of the fuse box well by following these tips:

Regular Inspection

Periodically inspect the fuse box for any signs of damage, like burnt or melted fuses, loose wires, or corrosion.


Keep the fuse box clean and free from dirt, dust, and debris. In this case, use a soft brush or compressed air to remove accumulated dirt or debris. It will maintain proper electrical connections and prevent potential issues.

Proper Handling of Fuses

Use the correct type and rating for your car’s electrical system when replacing fuses. You should always check the car manual or consult a professional too.

Avoid Overloading

Avoid overloading the system by not exceeding the recommended capacity for accessories connected to the fuse box. It will prevent overheating and potential damage to the fuses and wiring.

Professional Maintenance

I suggest you seek professional advice if you cannot maintain the fuse box yourself.


Why is my fuse box ticking? I hope this discussion has the answer to your problem. So, follow the explanations and take the necessary steps to prevent any ticking or clicking noise from the car. However, I am confident that the solutions are easy to follow. Just make your time and solve the problem.

I appreciate your patience! Stay safe and enjoy your car’s smooth electrical operation!

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