Troubleshooting Your Vehicle’s Electrical Problem

May 10, 2022

Troubleshooting Your Vehicle’s Electrical ProblemThere can be many reasons why a vehicle is experiencing electrical issues. While many people automatically think there’s an issue with the battery (and many times, it is), your electrical system is much larger. The newer the vehicle, the larger and more complex the electrical system. And, as you might imagine, with a more complex system, there are many more places that an error could occur.

There are several symptoms that would indicate an issue may be electrical. If you find multiple symptoms, it’s a good indication your car has electrical issues. Following are some of the more common symptoms:

Indication Of An Electrical Problem

Blown fuses – If you are constantly replacing blown fuses, this indicates something in the electrical system is sending too much current through those fuses.
Dim headlights/taillights/dome lights – If the lights on your car are dim as you’re driving, or constantly change brightness, this can indicate a problem with the electrical system, typically that the alternator is failing. Ignoring this symptom could lead to engine electrical failure, leaving you stranded somewhere.
Engine struggles to crank – The engine needs electrical flow to the spark plugs in order to start. Without a strong flow of electricity, the engine will struggle to get going, or may not start at all.
Odor of burning or melting plastic – Never ignore this sign, because it can indicate you have wiring that’s heating up so much, it’s melting the insulation around it. If not taken care of, this could result in a car fire!
Sputtering engine – If the spark plugs aren’t getting enough electrical charge, the fuel won’t combust fully in the cylinders. In some cases, the issue might be in only one or two spark plugs cylinders, causing the engine to run rough or sputter.
Lights/horn/radio won’t work – While this issue may be caused by a blown fuse, it could be an indication that the alternator or another component needs to be replaced.

Troubleshooting Common Vehicle Electrical Problems

Inspect the battery – Ensure the battery connector cables are tight to the battery terminals. If terminals are corroded (white build-up) clean them thoroughly with a wire brush.
Inspect the alternator belt – If signs of cracking or fraying are visible, have it replaced immediately.
Inspect spark plugs and wires – Check that the wires are seated firmly at both ends and that plugs are tightened in each cylinder.

Repairing A Vehicle’s Electrical Problem In Blaine MN

While many electrical issues are directly related to the vehicle’s battery, fuse system, or alternator, diagnosing a vehicle’s electrical problem can be complex. In some instances, specialized equipment and training must be employed to accurately diagnose the issue. Rely on an ASE-Certified mechanic to accurately diagnose and repair your vehicle’s electrical problem. The team at Clark Automotive is located in Blaine Minnesota and is trained and certified to make electrical repairs on your vehicle. Don’t be stuck on the side of the road! Bring your vehicle in today for a thorough inspection and diagnosis. Call (763) 784-7944 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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