Modern cars are incredibly reliant on electrical systems. This is why you should always see a professional with the proper training and tools to diagnose any electrical issues.
If you’ve noticed a burning plastic smell, dim or flickering lights or blown fuses, these are all signs of an electrical issue.
1. Check the Battery
The battery is the heart of your vehicle’s electrical system. It gives the starter and alternator what they need to start your car and then provides power for everything else, including lights, radios and other electronic accessories. Modern vehicles are very reliant on the electrical system, which means they can malfunction in many ways.
The first thing to do during your auto electric maintenance is check the battery. Look for corrosion on the posts and battery cables, which is easily cleaned with a solution of baking soda and water or automotive-safe lubricant.
You should also notice if the battery seems old and isn’t producing enough power, which may result in dim lighting or other issues with your car’s electronics. If you see a burning smell, stop driving and bring your vehicle in right away for diagnostics and repair. This could indicate a dangerous fire risk, which is not worth taking. Your trusted mechanic will be able to diagnose and fix any problems with your electrical system.
2. Check the Alternator
The alternator is responsible for keeping the battery charged and running your accessories. If the alternator is failing, it won’t be able to keep up with demand and may start leaving your car accessories malfunctioning or not working at all.
The easiest way to check your alternator is with a voltmeter. Remove the minus terminal from the battery and measure the voltage. A reading of 13-14.5 V means the alternator is working properly.
If you notice your headlights are becoming dim or your windows aren’t rolling up and down properly, it might be time to replace the alternator. A whine or growl from the engine may also be a sign of alternator trouble. If your alternator is dying, you may even smell burning rubber or wires, which could be dangerous if the problem isn’t addressed quickly. A professional will be able to help you determine what the cause is and fix it before your alternator fails completely.
Vehicle air conditioning repair is a crucial service for maintaining comfort while driving. It involves diagnosing and fixing issues with the air conditioning system, such as refrigerant leaks, faulty compressors, or clogged condensers. A professional mechanic can provide reliable air conditioning repair services for all types of vehicles.
3. Check the Starter
The starter converts electrical energy from the battery into mechanical energy to crank over the engine. When the starter fails, you hear a grinding sound and your car won’t start. If you suspect it’s the starter, remove the battery cables and clean their posts. Also check the starter solenoid, if it has one.
The wiring of your vehicle’s electrical system is vast and complex. It delivers power, ground, information and serial data communication to all the electronic systems in your car. Loose wires, improper gauge and corrosion may all cause problems. Fuses in the fuse box prevent overvoltage, but fuses that blow repeatedly are a sign of bigger problems to your car’s circuits.
Modern cars are more reliant on electrical systems than ever before. If you’ve noticed that your car isn’t operating as it should, bring it to Ride Time for a thorough diagnostic servicing. You’ll get a fresh new start and a smart guide to reviving your car!
4. Check the Ignition
The electrical and ignition systems work together and are crucial to every aspect of your car’s performance. They are responsible for routing power, grounding, information and serial data communication. A poorly functioning electrical system could result in a lit Check Engine light or even a no start situation. When this happens, the first thing many people suspect is the ignition coil.
The engine compartment wiring harness is a maze of numerous wires connecting different key operating components. It’s easy for one of these wires to become disconnected from its connection point due to corrosion, looseness or a broken pin fit. This causes unwanted draws or drains on the electrical system which can eventually cause its failure.
Testing the coil’s windings for resistance is a good way to spot this issue. It’s also important to test for voltage drop which is a common problem that can sneak up on a vehicle.