You might not drive an electric vehicle or hybrid but your car, truck, or SUV still has an electrical system. This system powers so much, including your ignition system and your vehicle’s components. Electrical problems are not unusual – any vehicle can have them. Here are five signs your automobile is having electrical problems. If you notice any of them, bring your vehicle in for a checkup.
Your vehicle’s battery isn’t the only thing that starts your automobile. You also need the starter and alternator to fire it up and if either of these parts is failing, you won’t be able to get your engine to crank when you turn the key in the ignition. Sometimes, you’ll hear a clicking sound, and that’s usually a sign there’s a problem with the starter. If you hear a whirring or grinding sound, it could be the alternator.
Your vehicle also won’t start if the battery is dead, but you might have battery issues less noticeable, as well. As you drive, your battery discharges and it needs to be charged to keep your engine running. This is the alternator’s job, but if the battery is old and dying, it might not be able to hold the charge. You might also notice your interior lights and headlights aren’t as bright if your battery is on the way out.
Speaking of Headlights…
The number one sign of an electrical problem is your headlights. They should illuminate at the same brightness all the time until they burn out or you flip your brights on and off. The battery powers the headlights and the alternator powers the battery, as mentioned above, and your headlights will let you know there’s electrical system problems by not shining as bright as they normally do.
You know how when you overload your home’s electrical system you blow a fuse? The same thing happens in your car, truck, or SUV. If the alternator is overloading the circuits, the related fuse will blow out. You might notice this because your radio suddenly dies or you can’t honk your horn. If you find yourself replacing automotive fuses all the time, there’s something wrong with the electrical system.
Finally, your vehicle’s electrical system is a maze of insulated wiring throughout your engine and automobile. If you smell burning plastic or what smells like hot electricity, you might have an overheated wire. Pull over immediately and call for a tow. Don’t take chances with an engine fire. It’s best to let a mechanic find the source of the hot smell and fix it before something goes seriously wrong.
Midwest Auto Care & Transmission Center is that mechanic. Bring your vehicle in to us today if you think you might have an electrical problem.