How To Check And Fix Electrical Problems In Your Car

Modern vehicles have complicated electrical systems. They provide power for basic operations like starting the engine, operation of spark plugs, lights, wipers, mirrors, power windows and accessories like the music system. They also power the computers monitoring the control and operation of the engine and other critical systems.

All parts of the electrical system must function correctly for your car to work normally. Unlike most mechanical issues, electrical problems are difficult to pinpoint and are best done at a good garage. Get your car checked if you notice any of the symptoms below.

Starting Problems

Car Electrical Problems

It’s frustrating when your car refuses to start or you have to make multiple attempts to get the engine running. A battery problem is the prime suspect. That said, there are other problems that can result in the same symptoms. A bad alternator or starter can also cause starting difficulties. Even when a discharged battery is the culprit, there are several ways in which it can happen.

Leaving your car parked with the headlights, music system or some other accessory accidentally turned on is the most common cause of a discharged battery. In this case, all you need to do is to jumpstart the car and drive it for a while until the battery is sufficiently charged. To do this, you will need a jumpstart cable and another vehicle to supply the power.

You can also get the battery charged externally at a garage or battery servicing outlet. If you have the right battery charger at home, you can remove the battery, charge it fully and reinstall it in the car.

A faulty charging system that is unable to charge the battery adequately will result in your battery getting gradually discharged. Another possibility is that the battery has reached the end of its life. Batteries have a finite life, usually about three to five years depending on the quality. Once past its end of life, the battery will not hold sufficient charge to function properly. If your battery is dying, it must be replaced quickly.

With so many possibilities, it’s best not to jump to conclusions if you have a starting problem. If you face repeated starting difficulties without any apparent cause, get it checked at a garage as soon as possible to avoid getting stranded.

Dim Lights When The Engine Is Running

If the headlights or the dashboard lights seem to dim when you are idling or driving at low speeds, it points to a problem with the voltage regulator or the alternator. It can also be caused by dying battery that has trouble charging and is overloading the system. If you notice this symptom, get your car checked and fixed as soon as possible or you may get stranded on the road.

Some Lights Or Accessories Are Not Working

If lights or accessories don’t switch on, check for obvious reasons like loose cables or fused lamps. If that’s not the issue, it could be a blown fuse. You can fix this easily. You will find the information on replacing fuses in your owner’s manual. Anything beyond this needs to be checked by a mechanic. It could be a wiring fault within the system.

If a fuse or set of fuses blows frequently, get it checked as soon as possible. You probably have an intermittent short circuit, a wiring fault or a faulty component that is drawing excess current.

Smell Of Burning Plastic

Any kind of odd smell in a car is a cause for concern. You cannot always tell what is burning or how serious the issue is. If you detect a smell of burning plastic, it’s likely that some wires or insulation of a wire is burning. Normally, wires will not heat to a point where it burns or damages the insulation. If you notice a burning smell, stop the car and call a mechanic because there is a risk of fire. The fumes are likely to be toxic. So, open the windows to ventilate the cabin.

Rough Idling Or Sputtering Engine

You will be familiar with the sound of your engine. If you notice any rattling or knocking sounds while idling, you probably have a spark plug problem. It could just be a spark plug that just needs cleaning or replacement. It could also be an electrical issue.

If you suspect electrical problems, take your car to a good garage. Mechanics having access to specialised equipment will be able to pinpoint and fix the problem easily. An early and accurate diagnosis saves your money and prevents the fault from affecting more components.

If you are in Birchwood, Warrington, Winwick, Risley, Partington, Padgate, Newton le Willows, Lymm, Lowton, Irlam, Fearnhead, Culcheth, Croft and surrounding areas Lowton Motor Company Birchwood is the perfect garage for the diagnosis and repair of electrical problems. With over 25 years of experience, we will be able to find and fix the problem quickly and get you back on the road. As the largest garage in Birchwood we provide a convenient and affordable service. For all types of car service and repairs, book your service using the simple booking form below. You can also email us or call us on 01925 330468.

 

Our Customer Reviews

  • Excellent company, professional non pushy salesmen, very knowledgeable on all the cars available, upfront and honest on the deals and purchase price for my car, aftersales also excellent.
    Would recommend the birchwood sales centre we will definitely be using them again, fantastic that they also have a service centre and mot centre on site to continue the high standard of care for the car purchased.

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    13/01/20

    Had my MOT booked here.
    Quick and efficient service, will definitely come back for future services.

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    19/12/19

    Very pleased on all counts. They couldn't have been more helpful.
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    Graham Sutcliffe
    12/12/19
  • Amazing ,Loue (mechanic) kindly pushed my car around to their service area( broken down on way ) for checking to why not starting ?
    The battery was the fault he ordered a new one and fitted it at a reasonable price,Thankyou to the receptionist whom looked after me whilst waiting....
    A big Thankyou to Loue 😊

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    26/11/19

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    19/11/19

    Took my car in at 9am as arranged for mot, it was done on time and whilst I waited was shown courtesy and politeness would not hesitate to recommend and I will definitely use again for my up coming service

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    24/09/19
  • I was very satisfied with the level of service I received last week from Lowton Motor Company. They traced a leak in my air conditioning unit, obtained a replacement radiator and topped up the gas within there estimated time scale and price

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    23/09/19

    Taken my car here for a few years now for MOT always been friendly, super efficient and reasonable. Would happily recommend

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    11/08/19

    Unbelievable service from the guys at Lowton Motor Company. Special mention to Callum & Steve who dealt with my purchase. Inlove with the car and would highly advise anyone to buy from this garage. Thanks again.

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    05/08/19
  • Great service no problems ☺️

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    Jennifer Grundell
    17/07/19

    Have used Lowton Motor Company for a few years now for MOT and repairs and always found them to provide good service and very friendly have recommended them to a number of family members and they have also received the same quality service

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    Ian P
    10/05/19

    Very pleased with the level of service I received from lowton motors. I will definetly use them again.

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    Jan Houghton
    11/04/19
  • No-nonsense MOT, in and out same day. All good.

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    Duncan Corns
    11/04/19

    I needed a last minute MOT for my X6 4.0D and Rob on the garage MOT side of the business fitted me at the 11th hour.
    I have never used this business to service or MOT any of my vehicles but I would travel from my home in Crosby to obtain such a great, professional and helpful service.
    First Class - thanks Rob 👍🏻

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    john quirk
    08/04/19

    I needed a last minute MOT for my X6 4.0D and Rob on the garage MOT side of the business fitted me at the 11th hour.
    I have never used this business to service or MOT any of my vehicles but I would travel from my home in Crosby to obtain such a great, professional and helpful service.
    First Class - thanks Rob 👍🏻

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    john quirk
    08/04/19
  • Take your car there. Brilliant

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    Martin Rose
    27/03/19

    Absolutely brilliant, fantastic and friendly service. The prices are very competitive and the gentleman that looked after me Robert was very knowledgeable and helpful. They are a bit hidden away but definitely worth a look.

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    22/07/18

    Great service provided for our company vehicles. Friendly team with good rates and quick turn round. Highly recommended.

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    amanda hancock
    15/06/18
  • Excellent friendly service. Urgently needed an mot but had to work. Gave me use of a courtesy car on the spot, picked it back up after work. Would definitely use again. Top notch.

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    isabelle Bear
    15/05/18

    Had my car serviced and mot'd here yesterday after a friend recommended....very happy with the service I received and I would highly recommend

    Thanks lads

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    Grant Whittle
    15/05/18

    Great choice of cars and friendly service.

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    07/01/18

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