When a brand new car gets purchased, expectations can be extremely high. Although electrical systems have been a huge compliment to the classic mechanics in cars, they come with their own batch of drawbacks too. Sometimes, poor electrical systems can indicate a flaw in the manufacturing process or could be a clue that your new car might not be as new as you were led to believe. It can be difficult to discern 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, if they turn on at all. A dead battery could mean you need a jump, or that it needs replacement altogether. A dead battery could also indicate that your car may have been more pre-used that you might like or would have thought! On the other hand, the battery may not be dead but rather there is simply no power in 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 handy dandy 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, like us at Robert’s Collision & Repair, because hunting for the cause of your electrical issues can become dicy 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.
Luckily, you can just give us a call at Robert’s Collision & Repair, and we can bring your car in for diagnostics to find out where the problem is coming from, and possibly give you some extra information that may help you find out whether your new car is really all that new, or if you got stuck with a lemon. Either way, we’ll get you repaired and back on the road as soon as possible with your new car. Give us a call to learn more! We’re happy to help!