The electrical system in your car includes your battery, starter, and alternator. If any of those components start to fail, you’ll feel it.
A working electrical system is key to staying safe on the road. When you know what to look for, you can take action and schedule the necessary repairs before it turns into a risk. Today, we’re sharing seven signs that your system is on the fritz, and what to do about it.
1. Your Engine Is Clicking
Your car’s engine can’t start without electrical power. As soon as you activate the ignition, the battery generates a spark through a spark plug. This ignites the fuel in your engine and turns it on.
If you’ve noticed that your engine is taking longer to crank than usual, there could be an issue with your battery or alternator. The alternator provides the bulk of your car’s electricity and recharges the battery. If it isn’t generating enough current flow, you might hear a clicking sound when you try to start your engine.
2. You Hear a Grinding Noise
During ignition, the starter motor turns the engine over, which powers the remainder of your vehicle’s systems. This action should happen instantly and smoothly, but if there’s an issue with your starter, it could be problematic.
The most telltale sign to listen for is a grinding noise during cranking.
3. Your Battery Is Dead or Dying
When your car battery is dead, your first inclination may be to assume it’s old and replace it immediately. While this might be the case, there could be other problems at play.
Remember: Your alternator helps recharge your battery. If it isn’t working, you won’t get nearly as much life out of your battery and it’s bound to die before its normal time.
4. Your Check Engine Light Is On
Does your dashboard light up like Christmas every time you turn your car on? If you’re consistently seeing the “Check Engine” light, it’s time to take action.
If your car’s computer detects any problem with its internal circuits or sensors, this light will display. They could be loose, incorrectly wired, or simply worn out.
5. Your Lights Aren’t Working Properly
Exterior car lights include your turn signals, brake lights and headlights. You also have interior illumination to improve cabin visibility in low-light conditions. If there’s a malfunction with your car’s electrical system, these lights might seem dim.
In some cases, they may go out altogether. The battery could be to blame, or there might be a problem with your alternator belt or internal wiring.
6. Engine Performance Is Lagging
You might be able to start your car, but does it seem to be lagging on the road?
Engine performance issues could signal a faulty electrical system. These components help control your engine’s timing and fuel settings. If they’re off, your fuel efficiency and acceleration speeds could suffer.
7. You Smell Something Burning
You should never smell something burning in your car. Yet, if you have a failing electrical system, you might notice the smell of burning plastic or insulation.
This is a major sign that the system is malfunctioning, especially if the scent occurs alongside other signs on this list, such as dimmed lights and a lagging engine.
Notice a Problem With Your Car’s Electrical System?
You should rest assured that the electrical system in your car is working great and keeping you safe behind the wheel. If you suspect that yours has fallen victim to any of these issues, let us know.
There’s a chance that this malfunction could be tied to a vehicle that was faulty from the start. Lemon laws in your state can protect you against sinking constant funds into these money pits. We can help you fight for your rights, so contact us today to learn more.