Signs of Electrical Problems in Your Vehicle

Electrical Problems in Your Vehicle

People often automatically assume that when their vehicle isn't starting, it's because of a bad battery or engine issues. This is not always the case. It is quite common for defective components within the electrical system to cause engine failure.

Unlike brakes squeaking, or an engine that rattles, problems within your vehicle's electrical system can be less obvious and harder to diagnose.

In most vehicles, the electrical system is composed of various components, including:

  • Battery
  • Battery cables
  • Alternator
  • Starter
  • Computer system

Problems with any of these components can cause problems with the vehicle's operation.

Battery Matters

The battery is the heart of your vehicle's electrical system. It stores power for when it is needed and lasts, on average, only around 5 years. This means you should have your battery checked, as preventative maintenance, every 3-4 years. A bad battery cell or alternator that is not charging correctly, prevents the battery from staying fully powered, and ultimately shortens battery life.

Battery Lifespan

If you'd like to do it yourself, you can check the battery cables for signs of corrosion and to ensure a tight fit at the terminal ends. Corrosion is caused by the release of hydrogen gas from the acid in the battery. The gas mixes with materials under the hood and produces the corrosion you see on the terminals.

Corrosion is not a good sign on your battery. If the corrosion is allowed to build, it can prevent power from flowing through your electrical system.

Difficulty Cranking Engine?

If you hear a clicking noise when turning the key, it usually means the starter can't get enough current flow to engage the engine. In most cases this is caused by a bad or discharged battery.

The older your vehicle and total miles driven, all play a role in the lifespan of your vehicle's rotating electrical parts.

Headlights Not Working Right

Dim brake lights or headlights can also be an indication of a problem in your electrical system. It may relate back to an improperly charged battery, wire malfunction, or fuse failure. Dim lights can indicate low system voltage, which can gradually cause your vehicle to stop working altogether. Loose or damaged belts can also cause damage to your alternator, which affects the overall power output to your vehicle.

Electrical Complications Evaluated & Repaired

If you have an issue with your vehicle's electrical system, don't hesitate to bring it in to Saddleback Automotive for an evaluation. We understand the peace of mind that comes with a properly working electrical system, so let our automotive technicians inspect your battery and cable terminal ends, and evaluate your battery's charging and starting system.

Automotive Service Provided by Saddleback Automotive

Proudly Serving the Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, and the Orange County community for over 30 years, our staff is continually updating and upgrading all of our diagnostic equipment in order to serve our clients confidently. We are prepared for any electrical problem that comes our way, and have the expertise to diagnose and repair most complications.