Car electrical problems can be frustrating and disruptive – not just to the car but to your life. Several factors can contribute to electrical issues in a car. Many issues with your vehicle’s electrical system are caused by classic problems like a bad alternator, battery, starter, or wiring, but newer cars and trucks have increasingly complex electrical systems. Tommy’s Automotive maintains the latest scanners and other equipment to find the problem. We’re even able to track down any short circuits within your electrical system.

What Causes Car Electrical Problems?

car electricalThere can be many reasons why your car is having electrical problems. While some are straightforward, others may require a scanner and a mechanic to diagnose. Fortunately, Tommy’s has the experience and the tech to find the problem and get you back on the road fast! Here are a few issues we see regularly in our shop:

  • Battery Issues. Dead or weak batteries are a frequent cause of electrical problems. It can result from old age, a faulty charging system, or leaving lights and accessories on when the engine is off.
  • Faulty Alternator. The alternator charges the battery while the engine is running. A malfunctioning alternator can lead to a discharged battery and various electrical issues.
  • Starter Motor Problems. The starter motor is responsible for initiating the engine’s cranking process. If the starter motor fails, the engine may not start or may start intermittently.
  • Faulty Ignition Switch. The ignition switch is crucial for the proper functioning of various electrical components, including the starter motor and accessories. A malfunctioning ignition switch can lead to issues like failure to start or unexpected stalling.
  • Blown Fuses. Fuses protect electrical circuits from overloads. If a fuse blows, it interrupts the flow of electricity to a specific component, causing it to malfunction. Common causes include short circuits or electrical overloads.
  • Bad Wiring or Connections. Damaged or corroded wiring can disrupt the flow of electricity. Loose or corroded electrical connections, such as battery terminals or ground connections, can also lead to problems.
  • Faulty Sensors. Modern vehicles rely on various sensors for functions like engine management, fuel injection, and emissions control. Malfunctioning sensors can lead to poor engine performance and other electrical issues.
  • Faulty Spark Plugs or Ignition Coils. Spark plugs and ignition coils are essential for the combustion process in the engine. If these components fail, it can result in misfires, poor engine performance, and potential starting issues.
  • Malfunctioning Computer Modules. Modern vehicles have multiple electronic control modules that manage different systems. A malfunction in one of these modules can lead to erratic behavior in associated components.
  • Parasitic Drain. Parasitic drain occurs when electrical components draw power from the battery when the vehicle is off. Common culprits include malfunctioning accessories or components that should power down when the vehicle is not in use.
  • Water Intrusion. Water entering the electrical system, such as through a leaky windshield or damaged seals, can lead to corrosion and electrical malfunctions.
  • Accessory Add-Ons or Modifications. Poorly installed aftermarket accessories or modifications to the electrical system can cause issues if not installed correctly.

Find the Source of Your Car Electrical Problem

To diagnose and address electrical problems in a car, schedule an appointment with Tommy’s Automotive. We use diagnostic tools to identify the root cause of the issue and perform necessary repairs or replacements. Regular vehicle maintenance and prompt attention to warning signs can help prevent many electrical problems. We are here for your automotive needs!