What Is An ATC Fuse and How Does It Look?

You may have heard your mechanic mention a blown ATC fuse that needs replacement, but you are unsure what the fuse does in your vehicle. 

ATC stands for Automatic Transfer Case and are standard-size fuses used in the automotive and marine sectors. It first appeared in the 1970s, along with other regular-sized fuses like the ATO, ATS, and APR. The Atc fuse has a distinct look, with its blade concealed within a colored plastic casing.

In this article, we look at the uses of ATC fuses, how you can distinguish them from other fuses like the Atm and Ato, sizes, and how to know which fuse your vehicle needs.

What Are ATC Fuses Used For?

The ATC fuse is used for low-voltage control circuits and performs by controlling electric current, breaking it down to the required current for the specific electric parts that will use the current. It ensures that a high current does not flow through to the electric parts. It is why the ATC fuse has a specific current allocated to it.

Box of ATC fuses

Also, the fuse is a blade-type design with two protruding prongs connected to the fuse box socket. It also comes with a plastic bag that is usually transparent and comes in different colors. The color indicates the amount of current the fuse can handle. 

In addition, the ATC fuse functions like many other fuses found in the engine. The difference between the ATC fuse and other fuses is its design. Its primary function is to protect the electronic system in the car. It protects the system from a higher current that could cause it to get damaged.

What Is the Difference Between ATC And ATO Fuses?

The ATC and ATO fuses belong to the same blade group and size. They both have regular sizes and dimensions of 19.1 x 5.1 x 18.5 mm ( length, width, and height). What makes them different is that one is closed and opened, hence the C and O letters at the end of ATC and ATO). 

The difference between the ATC and the ATO fuses the position of their blade. ATC has a blade covered by plastic housing, shielding it from substances or elements that may cause corrosion. 

On the other hand, ATO, as its blade comes out from the bottom, is exposed to any form of elements that may cause it to rust. It is one of the reasons the ATO is more prone to getting damaged compared to the ATC.

The ATC fuse is more popular than the ATO fuse type, which could be because it last longer. 

What’s The Difference Between ATC And ATM Fuses?

The ATC and ATM are similar and are considered blade fuse or plug-in. They come with two similar metal prongs and have a transparent plastic covering. Although they are a lot alike, some factors make them different.

ATC and ATM size comparison

The difference is that ATC is much bigger than the ATM fuse. ATC is a regular-size fuse, while the ATM fuse is a mini-blade fuse. The ATM fuse is too small to be used for the fuse block, and this is where you will be able to find the ATC fuse. 

The ATC started being used in the 1970s before the ATM fuse came into the scene in the 1990s. They are also both used for low-voltage electronic components, commonly in cars.  

Though smaller than the ATC fuse, the ATM fuse is a bit bigger than the Micro2. ATM fuse is often confused with the MIcro2 fuse because of its a bit similar size.  

How Do I Know Which Fuse To Use?

When choosing a fuse, there are several factors you need to consider. Some of these include the size of the fuse, the type of fuse, and the voltage. Cars use different fuses, and it can be difficult to select one without knowing how to identify them and their uses in the vehicle.

Firstly, you should consider the size of the fuse. There are 6 categories of fuse sizes, and they include the following. 

1. Micro2:This is the smallest fuse you can find in your vehicle. It has a taller shape, but it is pretty slim. 

2. Micro3: It is the second smallest and is pretty unique because it comes with three terminals rather than two, which is present in every other fuse. 

3. Mini: the mini has a smaller and more compact design, and its terminals do not go out of the body. 

4. Low-profile mini– It is similar to the mini in design, but the only difference is that it has a shorter terminal than the mini. 

5. Regular– The regular is a much more common type of fuse and is the standard or regular size in cars. It is also one of the largest fuses you can find, second to the Maxi. 

6. The Maxi is the biggest fuse found in the car and is made to handle much more voltage than other types of fuses. 

Secondly, when choosing a fuse for your vehicle, you should consider the fuse you will use to replace the old fuse. There are different fuses, usually characterized by what we have already looked into and their current rating. 

There are about 16 current ratings, and each has a specific color. For instance, the 1A current rating comes in black, 2A grey, 3A in violet, and so on. 

Finally, it would be best to consider the voltage the fuse can handle. You find the maximum current that can pass through the fuse on the current rating, usually clearly written on the fuse. Also, the color can point you to the current rating.

Related content: Fuel pump fuse keeps blowing – Causes & Solutions

What Size Is An ATC Fuse?

The ATC fuse is considered a regular-size fuse. It is the second largest fuse found in a car. The largest fuse is the MAXI fuse which is the APX fuse. The ATC fuse comes in a dimension of 19.1 x 5.1 x 18.5 mm.


The ATC fuse is a regular-size fuse that belongs to the blade type category. It is the most common type of fuse that can be seen in vehicles today and also one of the oldest to be introduced in cars. Having spare ones in your car is never a bad idea. You never know when one blows, and you need to replace it.