The electrical system in your vehicle is comprised of many key components. Taken together, these components operate many different aspects of your car from operating your windows to starting your engine and charging your smartphone. However, the complexities of a modern vehicular electrical system mean that troubleshooting it when it is faulty can be difficult. Here are some key warning signs you should look for that might mean your electrical system needs servicing.
Difficulty Starting the Engine
Just because you might be having trouble starting your vehicle doesn’t automatically mean it’s a battery problem. There might end up being an unrelated component in your electrical system with a defect which may be draining your battery. In this instance, your check engine light will be on with a no-start. A clicking noise when turning the key may indicate that the starter isn’t getting enough current to start the engine. And a grinding noise may indicate a bad starter.
On average, a car battery lasts about five years. It’s good practice to replace your battery every four years just to be on the safe side, however. Having your entire electrical system checked at the same time can reveal other issues related to the battery. For example, it may reveal problems with the alternator that may be leading to shorter battery life. In addition, corroded cables and terminals can lead to a decrease in the amount of power flowing through the entire system.
If your headlights or brake lights just aren’t as bright as they should be, it may be indicative of a charging malfunction, loose wires, or a discharged battery. The alternator belt may need to be checked for cracking. A cracked alternator belt can prevent your alternator from maintaining the proper voltage needed to keep your vehicle running smoothly.
Smell of Melting Plastic
If you smell melting plastic, that is a critical warning of electrical problems that should be looked at right away. Electrical circuits are only designed to handle so much current, so if a component shorts it’s only a matter of time until that small problem turns into a much bigger one.
Need an Oil Change, Your Tires Rotated, or Other Car Maintenance?
Auto Stop Limited Inc. is happy to service your vehicle and make sure all of your maintenance needs are properly addressed and resolved. Contact Auto Stop Limited Inc. online or give us a call at (410) 467-7600 to get your questions answered today. To get more vehicle maintenance tips, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.