Signs Your Vehicle May Have Electrical Problems

February 1, 2022 Published by Leave your thoughts

Your car contains a multitude of electrical systems. Whether it’s fuses, spark plugs, your battery or your lights, there are so many variables that sometimes something goes wrong. The problem is, if you don’t know what to look for, you may miss the symptoms of an electrical issue.

Fortunately, there are some telltale signs that your vehicle has electrical issues—and you don’t need to be a mechanic to learn how to tell if your car is having electrical problems.

This article will cover some signals that your car is having electrical complications.

Engine won’t start

This is a fairly obvious sign that your car is having electrical problems, and it can be caused by a few different factors. The culprit could be the car’s battery, a malfunctioning starter or a simple electrical drain (also known as parasitic drain).

With electrical drain, your car and its electrical system draw energy from the battery, even if your car and all of its lights are turned off. You’ll likely need a mechanic’s help to address this.

Battery troubles

If you’re having problems with your car’s battery, you might be tempted to immediately run out and replace it. If it’s five or more years old, you could certainly do that, but the real underlying issue could be the electrical system.

One way to preemptively diagnose the issue is to check your battery and its accompanying cables. You should check for corrosion and make sure that the battery is hooked up properly. If the battery is fine, it could be a faulty alternator or another component within the electrical system. An automotive professional should be able to shed some light on the subject.

Burning smell

If you’ve never smelled something burning within your car, consider yourself lucky. As unnerving as the odor of burning plastic or rubber can be, it’s an indicator that you need to take action to repair your vehicle.

The burning aroma you smell could be anything from a short in your electrical system to superheated wires in your vehicle. Whatever the root cause, if you smell something burning while driving, pull over and make a phone call for help because continuing to drive could end in catastrophe.

Dim lights

You may notice that your lights still work but are dimmer, especially when the car is traveling slowly or idling. Not a big deal, right? It could be. The most likely causes of dimmed lights are the voltage regulator, the alternator or the battery.

Whatever the root cause is, lights that don’t shine as brightly as they normally do indicate that they’re not getting enough power from the vehicle’s electrical system.

Brake lights don’t work

One of the more subtle signs that your vehicle has electrical issues is that the brake lights don’t work. You’ll know the problem runs deeper if you’ve already replaced the brake light bulbs and they continue not to function. It could be a fuse that’s causing it, but you’ll want to take it in to a professional to make sure.

Call today to have your car’s electrical system fixed

As you can see, it’s valuable to understand how to tell if your car is having electrical problems. If you notice these signs or any others, call us at M & M Tire & Service Center, where we can fix anything from your car’s brakes to its electrical system.

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