As a consumer, when you buy a new car, obviously your expectations are extremely high! And, of course, with newer models come the growing reliance on a car’s electrical system. Even though vehicle electrical systems have been a huge compliment to a car’s classic mechanics, they still come with their own batch of drawbacks too. Sometimes, poor electrical systems can indicate a flaw in the manufacturing process, or it could be a clue that your new car might not be as new as you were led to believe! It can be difficult to distinguish which one of these possible explanations is the case. Let’s take a look at the most common electrical problems for new cars and what they may indicate about why your car is underperforming.
This is usually the go-to assumption when the electrical system isn’t working properly. An easy test of this is to flash your headlights and see how bright they are, or if they even turn on at all. A dead battery could mean you need a jump, or that it needs replacement altogether. On the other hand, the battery may not be dead but rather there is simply no power triggering the battery at all- you’ll know the difference based on whether your lights are dim or simply don’t turn on at all, and you’re left with a pitiful little click and nothing else. This kind of problem could indicate an error with your battery’s production or a disconnect between the battery and the starter. It’s difficult to say in this case whether previous use or poor manufacturing are responsible.
Damaged Alternator or Alternator Belt
The alternator is the next step along the Powertrain after the battery. The alternator is responsible for charging the battery while the car is running, and distributing additional power to other facilities like the headlights or the radio. If you notice that your car starts to slow, or electrical systems start to flicker while you’re driving, that means the alternator is not recharging the battery properly or distributing the power throughout your car consistently. A damaged alternator could mean that they simply installed one that was dysfunctional from the start, or it could mean that it was more used than you hoped for. Either way, you’ll need to replace the alternator sooner rather than later!
The starter is the little feature that, you guessed it, starts the car. If the starter is damaged or broken, then you won’t hear that little ‘click’ when you turn the ignition. Your battery may be fully charged and your alternator doing a great job of keeping it that way, but if the starter isn’t working properly there’s no way that the battery can jump your car into action. This also warrants repair or replacement and is most likely due to the part itself having suffered previous damage.
Damaged Fuses & Loose Wires
If you have checked the battery, alternator, and starter for issues, then the next place to check is the fuse box. Or, at this point, consider simply bringing your new vehicle into your local repair shop, because hunting for the cause of your electrical issues can become risky after this point. Basically, if any of the fuses are blown in the fuse box, or you notice any loose wires around the fuse box, you’ll definitely need some help from a professional mechanic to resolve it.
Loose Spark Plugs
If your car is behaving strangely between shifts, as in lurching forward or losing power, then it could indicate an issue within the engine’s internal combustion. Although that is definitely a mechanical problem, the root cause is usually broken or old spark plugs, which are electrical. Loose spark plugs could be due to a poorly manufactured system, but old or broken plugs almost definitely mean it’s been used.
This is when you turn the key and nothing happens. The toughest part about ignition issues is that you have no way to easily guess where along the Powertrain the problem has started or what you need to address.
Have questions? Call us at Pete Solis Collision Center! At Pete Solis Collision Center, we are El Paso’s Auto Body Shop! With over 47 years of experience behind us, we are the top choice for bodywork, paint, and more. We are the home to ICAR certified professional body shop technicians, as well as quality Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes. Pete Solis Collision Center is located at 1434 Lomaland Dr. in El Paso, Texas. Give us a call today at (915) 599-8666. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.