Servicing the Alfa’s Fuse Box

The calendar said that spring arrived almost 4 weeks ago, but here in central New Jersey, the weather had remained stubbornly cloudy and cool until a few days ago. This delayed me from uncovering the Miata and the Alfa so that I could begin enjoying the new driving season. I finally got both cars out of the garage and running under their own power last week. I have a list of maintenance tasks that I want to perform on the Alfa, as that car is my short-term focus because of all the events on the calendar.

First up is a show which is new to me: The Roebling Museum in Roebling NJ is hosting its 13th annual car show on Saturday April 29th. Registration is day-of-show only, and I’ve seen the grounds: it was a stop for the Glidden tour this past September, and it’s a lovely place for a car show. Next, the Alfa is already registered for the NJ Region AACA Spring Meet on Sunday May 7, at a new location: the Dodge dealer on Route 10 in East Hanover, NJ. Also on the calendar is the Carlisle Import Show on May 12 and 13; the Delaware Valley Alfa Club will be there and I plan to join them. I’m also honored that I have been personally invited to show the Alfa at this year’s Greenwich Concours d’Elegance. It’s a two-day show as always, and this year it’s on Saturday and Sunday June 3 and 4. Alfa Romeo is a featured marque on Sunday, and Rich Taylor, he of the infamous New England 1000 rallies, reached out to me with the invitation, so we (the Alfa and I) will be there. That’s a busy start to the car show season!

The fuse box cover: descriptions in Italian and English

Last week, I tackled a simple maintenance task: the servicing of the fuse box. You won’t find this procedure in many shop manuals. But I know from experience that fuse boxes, especially ones located in the engine compartment as it is for my Alfa, are subject to dirt, grime, vibration, and other external forces that can mess with the simplest electrical connections. I also know that the ceramic fuses that the Alfa uses (which are identical to the fuses in a Volvo 240) can weaken over time. Given that each fuse is less than 50 cents, it is a no-brainer to occasionally replace the fuses, and clean and tighten the contacts while I’m there. The simple fact is, the failure of any one fuse can bring the car to a stop, so I want to minimize that possibility.

Pre-servicing: you can see some dirt on the fuses and tabs

I bought the fuses from my reliable supplier, Classic Alfa in the UK, and again, they did not disappoint. An online order placed with them late Tuesday night was on my front porch at 3 p.m. Thursday. That’s less than 48 hours. Did I mention that they are in the UK? Anyway, I started the process by removing all 10 fuses, then spraying down the entire fuse box using a spray can of electronics cleaner. I used a brass bristle brush on all the tabs, then installed 10 new fuses, gently bending the tabs inward for a tight fit. As a final test, I got out my digital multimeter (DMM) and tested continuity across both tabs. I had good continuity at all the fuses. The entire job took less than 30 minutes.

The brass tabs after cleaning: the metal looks bright, which will provide the best contact

With that out of the way, I also plan to refresh the cooling system by replacing all hoses and flushing the system (the hoses are now 10 years old!) and also plan to replace the rear shocks, which are likely original to the car (making them 56 years old). I keep telling myself, I’ve got time! Tempus fugit.

All new fuses in place (note that Alfa provides places to carry spares; clever!)


All photographs copyright © 2023 Richard A. Reina. Photos may not be copied or reproduced without express written permission.


4 thoughts on “Servicing the Alfa’s Fuse Box

  1. Richard,   I don’t know what else to say, other than I enjoy reading your newsletter.  Your Alfa Romeo’s fuse box makes me think of the fuse box on my first car: a used Robin’s Egg Blue 1972 Super Beetle I purchased in 1976 with 55,000 miles.  It had a sunroof.  I drove it 12 years and sold it for $1,000 with a 172,000 miles on the odometer.   Hugh


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