Common Problems with Vehicle Electrical Systems


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Modern gasoline powered vehicles need three things in order to run: gas, air and spark. The spark is produced by electricity created by the alternator or from what is stored in the battery. The electrical system of your vehicle is quite complex and if something goes wrong it can be quite difficult to determine the exact problem. However there are some common issues that may arise which may cause widespread issues. Depending on the symptoms that you're having you can generally find the resolution to the problem based on one of these common auto electrical issues.

Blown Fuse

If you are having issues with a particular system, such as all of the power windows or locks not working, or if your headlights and tail lights stop working you can generally boil it down to a blown fuse. Fuses are what dictates how much electricity gets sent to a particular system so it is not overload it. But if too much electricity gets sent through a fuse the circuit will be broken and the system that the fuse sends power to will no longer work.

Bad Alternator

The alternator produces power while the engine is running, which is then stored in the battery. However, it also performs many other functions while the vehicle is operating, such as providing electricity to the spark plugs, powering the headlights and more. If you experience trouble such as hard starting, dim or flickering headlights or issues with other electrical accessories be sure to have the alternator tested.

Bad Spark Plugs or Wires

The spark plugs create a tiny explosion using electricity to ignite a mixture of fuel and air in order to pump the pistons up and down, which in turn generates the force necessary to power your vehicle. If the plugs, wires or the connection between the two becomes corroded or dirty your vehicle will begin to run very rough, and may not run at all.

Dead Battery

The most common problem with a vehicle electrical system is a dead battery. While batteries need to be replaced on their own, generally every 3-5 years, there are things that can cause them to die prematurely. Leaving your lights on or playing the radio or using other accessories while the car is not on for an extended amount of time is a surefire way to drain a battery. Then of course a bad alternator that fails to recharge the battery will cause it to go dead and quite commonly corrosion on the battery terminals will cause a poor connection resulting in a low or zero flow of electricity through the vehicle.

If you're experiencing electrical problems with your vehicle be sure to contact a local auto repair shop to handle the trouble. If your BMW, Mercedes or other European vehicle needs auto electric repair in Tacoma bring it to Autobahn Specialists. European vehicles have very intricate electrical systems and our employees are highly trained in diagnosing and repairing these issues. Give us a call at (253) 235-0904 to schedule an appointment for quality European auto repair in Tacoma today!

Autobahn Specialists Inc. Blog

Written and Published By MORBiZ