Often, however, it is hidden away, perhaps under the dashboard or down in the front knee-well. The car handbook usually gives the location, but without a book finding the box can prove difficult. Get to know where it is before anything goes wrong.
Electricity flows from a battery in one direction only, and some components work only if the flow through them is in the correct direction. This acceptance of a one-way flow is called polarity. On most cars the negative () battery terminal is earthed and the positive (+) one feeds the electrical system.
The individual fuses in the box are usually numbered, so that sorting out which one may have blown is simplified by referring to the numbered list in the handbook. This should tell you which fuse protects which circuit. Where they are not numbered, take out each fuse in turn and see which component stops working.
Current flows along a single cable from the battery to the component being powered, and back to the battery through the car metal body. The body is connected to the earth terminal of the battery by a thick cable.