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common electrical problems

13/Nov/2023 133 |


Fuses are used to prevent damage to the electrical circuit. They sacrifice themselves by “blowing” if too much power tries to surge into the electrical components.


Exterior bulbs usually burn out first because they are used most frequently. 


Automotive batteries have a finite lifespan and need to be changed regularly. You may have heard that cold weather will shorten the life of a battery, but it’s actually hot temperatures that cause damage. Heat will expand the fluids in the battery, shortening its life. Overcharging the battery can also cause damage. Damage to batteries usually occurs in the summer, and the failure happens in the winter. When changing a battery, make sure your new battery is the proper size and that the rating in cranking amps is at least as high as the original battery.


The charging system runs off the engine and creates the power to recharge the battery and run the electrical components while the car is operating. The battery relies on the charging system to keep it topped off with power, and when it fails, the battery is the only power source keeping the engine running and the lights on. The charging system can fail by not charging enough (or at all), or by overcharging and damaging the battery. Keeping the battery connections clean is essential for the charging system to work properly. Also, if you customize your car with power-hungry electrical components, such as big stereos and offroad lights, make sure your charging system is capable of covering the added energy needs.


The starting system uses more power than anything else on your car. The starter can wear out due to heat from the exhaust, corrosion, wear on the teeth that turn the motor, or the battery can simply run out of power. Because the starting system uses so much power, it is important that the wiring is capable of carrying the needed power, and that the contacts are kept clean. Inspect the wiring frequently for damage and corrosion, and to ensure that they make a good connection.


An electrical circuit must travel back to where it started (the battery) to operate properly. To do this, your car uses the metal parts of the chassis as a grounding source for the electrical circuits, and the ground wire is connected to the battery. Grounding issues are frequently the problem when you have a faulty circuit. The bolts holding the ground wires can loosen, and the wires can be damaged or become corroded. Some ground wires are buried deep in the car and should be left to the pros to find and repair. If you notice the ground points while working on your car, make sure that the contact with the metal frame is good and not corroded. Try to keep them clean.

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