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Car electrical failure

  • Lighting system failure;
  • Battery problems;
  • Alternator breakdown;
  • Faults in electrical loads;
  • Fail of fuse.

Signs of electrical problems

  • Incorrect or no performance of electrical devices;
  • Voltage drop (change of light intensity);
  • Alarm indication on dashboard;
  • Increased noise level of alternator operation;
  • Unusual sounds when the alternator works;
  • Cracks on battery case or alternator.

Causes of electrical problems

  • Oxidation, abrasion and failure of conductors’ insulation;
  • Breach of electrical circuit;
  • Violation of the battery and the alternator operation rules;
  • Frequent engine starting;
  • Battery overload;
  • Short circuit;
  • Exceeding service limit of components;
  • Long operation of battery and alternator in severe conditions (dust, dirt, high humidity, high or low temperature);
  • Low quality of parts and materials.


Troubleshooting of car electrical system is a time-taking process. For estimation of every power system component they should be alternately connected to vehicle “earth”. You should also estimate alternator drive belt tension and wiring between the battery, switch and alternator. It is necessary to measure the level of battery charging current using an ammeter. Lighting devices’ failures occur due to bulbs burnout or wiring short circuit. If bulbs burnout occurs frequently it is recommended to check alternator voltage regulator. You can carry out the inspection on your own only if you have electrical measuring instruments.

Repair and replacement of electrical system components

If rapid voltage change happens, first you should check fuse panel and replace the blown out fuses. You can repair most minor breakdowns on your own: replace a light or wiring or clean oxidized contacts, having disconnected them from power supply. The alternator failures are more complicated to fix, so you better apply to a service shop. Broken battery has to be replaced.

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