The Top Seven Auto Electric Problems and Their Symptoms

January 21, 2020 Published by Leave your thoughts

We tend to think of our vehicles as largely mechanical. But what you might not realize is that electricity plays a big part in making your car go! Without important components like the battery, alternator, spark plugs or the starter, your vehicle isn’t going anywhere very fast. That’s why an electrical diagnostic is one of the first things a mechanic will order if your vehicle isn’t working right.

If you’re driving through the streets of Patchogue, NY one day and stuck in your driveway the next with a vehicle that just won’t drive, you might have an electrical problem. Here are a few telltale signs and symptoms of common electrical troubles and the seven issues they indicate:

  1. Car won’t start: If you put the key in the ignition, turn it and absolutely nothing happens, you’ve got yourself a dead battery. The complete lack of response typically means there’s no electrical charge running through the car at all, which signals a failed battery.
  2. Clicking when you turn the key: If you try to start your car and hear rapid clicking when you turn the key, that’s not likely a battery issue—rather, it’s a starter problem. The starter might have a dead spot.
  3. Engine won’t turn over: If your engine keeps getting close to turning over but just can’t make it over the hump, it might also be a starter issue—specifically with the solenoid. Starter solenoids can wear out with time, making themselves a nuisance as the engine tries to turn over.
  4. Dim or flickering headlights: If you notice your headlights looking dim or flickering as you shift the car from park to drive, be wary of an alternator issue. This indicates a disruption in the flow of power, which is the responsibility of the alternator, which converts mechanical energy to electrical power.
  5. Rough idling or random stalling: If your car feels like it’s lurching at stoplights or it randomly dies while idling, there’s a good bet your spark plugs are to blame. Thankfully, spark plugs are easy and cheap to replace. If the problem is recurring, you might opt for a higher grade of plug, such as iridium or platinum spark plugs.
  6. Radio stops working: If your cabin amenities like the radio or clock stop working or flicker on and off, you’re dealing with one of two problems. First, it could be a fault in the circuit. Second, it could be a blown fuse. If they flicker on and off, suspect a fault. If they’re dead for good, it’s likely a fuse.
  7. Battery won’t jump: If your battery is dead and someone tries to help you jump it to no avail, the battery itself might be dead. Or, it could be a problem with your contacts. Corroded contacts impede the electrical current produced by the battery, which can leave your vehicle dead.

Auto electrical problems can be tricky to diagnose if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Have a mechanic in Patchogue, NY at Gene’s 112 Auto Service Center Inc. run an electrical diagnostic on your vehicle to establish the root of the problem before you buy replacement parts or start tinkering with electrical components.

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