Much earlier, we’ve talked about the best maintenance tips for electric and hybrid vehicles but would look at how to troubleshoot/diagnose electric issues on cars and other automobiles. This is with the full knowledge of modern vehicles being highly dependent on their electrical system. It is responsible for everything from the simple illumination of your headlights to your fuel efficiency and the safe and reliable operation of the vehicle.
When it comes to deciding where to service your car, it is a good idea to ensure they have a qualified and experienced auto electrician to ensure your auto electrics are all running optimally. Like the mechanical components of your vehicle, the electrics should be inspected at least annually.
This is important to ensure your vehicle is running smoothly, that mechanical components are not going to wear out prematurely, that safety features are operating the way they should and that important electric systems are not going to break down and leave you stranded.
In between your regular services, it is a good idea to get to know your electric system. By understanding the various components you will also be able to tell when a critical component might be ready for replacement in between services. In all, doing regular checks is one sure way to diagnose electric issues on cars irrespective of the type or model.
The Battery And The Alternator
You are not going to go far with a flat battery. It is recommended that you have your battery replaced every three to four years, but there are signs that the battery is prematurely failing to look out for. If your car is slow to start, the lights are dim or you notice flickering then you may need to have your battery and terminals checked.
Another issue could be your alternator. This is the component that charges your battery while you drive. If your car is turning over but struggling to start, this could be the issue.
Starter Motor Issues
Another critical component in the starting mechanism of your car is the starter motor. It provides the crank you hear when starting your car and it relies on the battery to start the engine of your vehicle.
If this fails, your car will not crank or start. Wear and tear are the common reason for starter motor failure and you should notice problems ahead of time like whirring, buzzing, or clicking when you turn the ignition.
Low Voltage Issues
If you can start your car properly and the battery and alternator are fine, you still might experience issues with dimming or flickering lights. This can occur when there are connection issues that are causing drops in voltage.
A certain component might not be getting enough power which is causing it to have problems. You should have your vehicle professionally inspected because voltage issues can ultimately lead to the car battery failing.
Grounding Circuit Issues
The electrical wiring in your car is insulated and shielded against heat, but these wires and cables can still become damaged or dislodged over time. When grounding cables become damaged or disconnected they will cause electrical systems to fail.
In some cases, you might get an early warning sign like the radio or electric windows failing. You should have your grounding cables and connectors regularly inspected and replaced as required.
If you have experience with working on car electrics, you can use a test lamp to diagnose a short to the ground in the circuit, but it is always best to have this done professionally.
How To Diagnose Blown Fuses
Fuses are a consumable product and they are going to fail, so this is a common issue with most vehicles. Depending on which fuse(s) are blown, you might lose the function of your car stereo or your vehicle could stop working completely.
You can check your car manual to find out where your fuse box is. There is a piece of wire that connects one side of the fuse to the other, if this is severed, the fuse is blown. You can remove this fuse with a pair of tweezers and replace them with new ones.