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Modern cars are highly-reliant on electrical systems to function properly. The alternator, battery, and other electrical systems control much of the functionality of your car — and if they begin to fail, you may experience a wide variety of issues with your car.

Understanding Your Car's Electrical System

However, it can be easy to misdiagnose electrical problems with your vehicle. So in this guide, Ride Time will take a look at a few common signs that your car is having electrical problems. The engine requires electrical power to start.


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Your battery has to provide the spark that ignites the fuel in your engine. If your engine is not cranking properly, this could be a sign of a bad battery, alternator, or another unrelated electrical problem. This means that there is not enough current flow in the system to engage the engine. Usually, this is caused by a discharged or bad battery, but your starter could also be the source of the issue. If your car is older and has high mileage, there is a good chance that there is a fault in an electrical system.

Take it to a service station right away, and have it checked by a professional.


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Most car batteries last about 5 years — less in hot climates — so a faulty battery could be a problem. However, the issue could also lie with your alternator, or somewhere else in the electrical system of your vehicle. If your battery is in good condition, and is confirmed to be working properly, your issue likely lies elsewhere.

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Take your car to your nearest service station to have the alternator and other power systems checked. Turn signals, brake lights and headlights keep you safe on the road, and interior illumination and lamps ensure that you can see what you need to in dark conditions.

Restore An Old Car

If your electrical system is malfunctioning, you may notice that various lights start to dim. Dimming lights indicate charging malfunctions and low system voltage. The culprit could be a dying battery, loose wires, or a malfunctioning alternator belt. Corrosion of electrical systems may also be an issue.

Take your car in to a mechanic for a full electrical analysis. Your car is controlled by a complex network of wires, sensors, and computers working together.

Electric Cars 101: The Answers to All Your EV Questions

If communication along these wires is interrupted, it could have major consequences for several components of your vehicle. If your vehicle seems to be having any electrical problems, the dedicated professionals at Christian Brothers Automotive are ready to hear from you. At Christian Brothers Automotive, we focus on an honest, transparent, service-centered approach that keeps our customers behind the wheel when it comes to the health of their vehicles. At Christian Brothers Automotive, we have a full line of manufacturer-certified diagnostic tools.

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The tools, scanners, and equipment are the same as those used in dealership service departments or better. At Christian Brothers Automotive, we take a serious, targeted approach to pinpoint the problem and minimize the cost of repairs.

CNET On Cars - How To: Diagnose an electrical leak in your car

This means that time is not wasted on guesswork and your wait in the lobby is as short as we can make it. Sometimes what seems like a major failure is merely a software bug. Computers control your car.

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Starters, alternators, air conditioning systems, and many other components are now computer driven. Your battery could also be the culprit of an electrical problem. A loose cable, a faulty wire, or a dirty connection could appear to be a bigger problem than it is.