What Are the Signs of Electrical Problems in Your Car?

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Whether you are traveling in your own car or renting while you are globetrotting, there are many things that can go wrong. 

Sometimes you don’t know what kind of gas to put in the car, while other times it’s a more intense issue. If it is an electrical issue, you may be in for more than a bit of trouble. But what are the signs of electrical problems in your car?

Vehicles around the world are relying more and more on electronic components. Whether you have a new touchscreen stereo or are even driving an electric vehicle, you should definitely be aware of the main signs that there is an electrical problem in your car. 

Here are some of the biggest giveaways if you have an electrical issue.

The Engine Won’t Turn Over

An engine that just won’t start is a dead giveaway that there could be an electrical problem. Your battery provides the initial spark that starts a combustion engine. Not to mention it is the primary power component for an electric car. For both older cars and newer vehicles, always start by taking a close look at your car’s battery, and whether or not the engine starts.

Because batteries are not cheap, you may be wondering, does car insurance cover electrical faults? If there is an issue that is covered under your policy, then typically your insurance will take care of it. It is very important that you get the rental car company insurance, or have full coverage insurance yourself. That way, if something comes up, you are in the clear. 

Interior and Exterior Lighting Issues

One of the most important signs of electrical problems in your car will be malfunctioning lighting. Whether your tail lights are out, or your interior lights are not working, this is a strong indicator there is an issue. 

If you suspect there could be an electrical problem, here are the primary lights to check: 

  • Headlights
  • Rear, or Tail lights
  • Interior dashboard
  • Interior ceiling lighting
  • Lighting installed on doors
  • Turn signals
  • Lighting behind backlit knobs and switches

Double-checking to make sure these lights work is extremely important. If you have recently changed any electrical components in your vehicle, like adding an LED headlight kit, or colorful interior lighting, be sure to have a professional double-check your work. 

Burning Smell Coming from The Car

Let’s say you have all of the above issues, and you start to smell something burning in your car. Pullover immediately, and get your car towed to the nearest repair shop. The strong smell of burning rubber or plastic could be an indicator that the casing around your electrical wires is failing. 

Constantly Replacing Fuses


An important sign that you have an electrical problem is that you are constantly replacing fuses. A blown fuse is the result of an electrical surge in your vehicle. So if you have to replace a fuse or two, in a short amount of time, then you definitely need your entire electrical system checked out. 


Diagnosing an electrical problem can actually be quite difficult. Because the electrical system of your car is complicated, it takes an experienced professional to accurately get the problem sorted out. If you suspect you have an electrical problem in your car, make sure to get it done by a repair shop and a trusted mechanic right away!

Know the Signs of Electrical Problems Before You Drive!

Whether you’re getting your car ready to go to the grocery store, or packing up for the greatest road trip of your life, you need to know the signs of electrical problems in your car before you get on the road. 

Your engine not turning over, a burning rubber smell, constantly replacing fuses, and having interior and exterior lights not working, are all your major signs. 

Traveling the world successfully means having your safety and the safety of those you love in mind at all times. Now that you know the major signs of electrical problems in a car, you can drive, rent, and even ride in a car in confidence. No matter where your travels may take you!

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John Miller

John Miller is a cars enthusiast who loves writing anything related to automobiles. He is a passionate blogger writing for innovatecar.com and other auto blogs