When I got my first car twenty years ago, I was clueless when it came to maintaining it and keeping it in a roadworthy condition. As a result, I had to pay for costly repairs that could have been avoided if the car had been looked after better. I learned my lesson and started reading everything I could about basic car maintenance. I started this blog to share what I've learned in the hopes it will save other new drivers making costly mistakes. I blog about a variety of topics, such as troubleshooting uneven tyre wear, the benefits of regular servicing and maintaining your car during the winter months. I hope you find my blog useful.
Your car's electrical system is as important as any other system; when there is an electrical short, this can cause your car to shut down even when you're on the road. This is why it's imperative that you take your car in to a shop to see an auto electrician as soon as you note any signs that it may need repair to the electrical systems. Consider a few of those signs here.
1. When your dashboard lights are dim
Most cars allow you to adjust the brightness of your dashboard lights with a dial, so if you notice that they're dim, check this setting first. However, if you've turned up the brightness and the lights still appear to be dim, this can be a sign that a wire is shorting out or is frayed, or that your battery is weak. If you ignore this problem your dashboard could stop working altogether, and this includes all your warning lights, your speedometer, and everything else you need to continue to drive safely.
2. When your headlights dim if you step on the brakes
The brake lights and the headlights both use electrical power, and if the headlights dim when you step on the brakes, this typically means they're not getting enough power. Both lighting systems should be fully supported at the same time without either of them becoming dim. This, too, can mean that you have frayed wires or that your battery is getting weak.
3. When the windshield wipers hesitate
If your windshield wipers seem to hesitate or struggle, this is a sign that your battery is weak and dying or that you have poor wiring. Your wipers should always work at full speed even if you're running other electrical systems. When they slow down, especially if you step on the brakes or are running the heat or air conditioning, it's good to have your electrical systems and battery checked.
4. If the dashboard fan slows periodically
Your fan should always work consistently, even if you step on the brakes or are using any other electrical system. When it slows periodically or seems to struggle to run at full blast, the fan itself could be breaking down, or you could have a weak battery or frayed wires. This is best checked out before the fan shuts down completely.
Remember that frayed wires can cause a short in your entire electrical system, and a weak battery can soon die so that you cannot start your car. Rather than assuming you can just ignore an electrical problem with your car, have any of these signs checked out as soon as possible so your car is always fully operational.