Don’t Ignore Signs of an Electrical Problem
Don’t ignore signs of an electric problem and when to call your mechanic. Just about every system in today’s vehicles is electric, from the steering to the brakes. Look for these indications something in your electrical system is running amok.
The Car Won’t Start
Electrical power is required to start a car. You turn the key, the starter engages to turn over the engine, and current flows to the spark plug to explode the gas. If the engine is not cranking or turning over it might be an electrical issue.
With the car door open, look at the overhead lights. Are they on or off? If the lights aren’t on the battery is probably dead. You can also check your headlights. They definitely will not come on or be very dim with a dead or dying battery. Batteries do go bad, or the alternator (which charges the battery) could have problems. When you turn the key and hear a clicking or grinding sound, it could be a low battery, bad connections or starter issues. (The light test helps us diagnose this! .
Typically, a car battery can last about five years but without checking the electrical system it can be hard to tell exactly where the problem lies. Having a mechanic run a diagnostic test on the electrical system can help you determine your next steps.
If the battery is the culprit, check the cables for corrosion and loose connections. Corrosion on the battery can be a telltale sign of leakage, or that your battery has reached the end of its lifespan. Have your mechanic test the battery.
Flickering or Dimming Lights
One of the most visible areas in the electrical system is the car’s lights. If the electrical system is malfunctioning, the lights will appear less bright. This may reveal a charging problem like low system voltage from a failing battery, bad alternator belt or loose connection. Often the issue is a bad negative ground to the car chassis.
Fuses Keep Blowing
Just like a house, a car has a fuse box. The fuses prevent any electrical dangers by breaking the electrical current to protect any system from getting fried.
Fuses can blow without cause for concern but if the same fuse blows repeatedly over a short time period, you probably have an issue somewhere in the electrical systems. It is a good idea to keep an assortment of your kind of fuses as spares to help you get home!
This is not an issue you want to ignore. Schedule an appointment with your mechanic to have the issue diagnosed and fixed.
Some signs of electrical trouble are subtle and easily rectified if fixed quickly. Others can be more severe. If you ever smell an electrical burning odor, stop driving the car immediately. This could indicate a serious issue.
If you suspect you have an electrical issue, or have any questions about your car, don’t hesitate to contact Wyoming Service Center in Albuquerque, NM at (505) 294-6723 today!