A modern automobile contains miles of electrical wires that connect to hundreds of components that make its systems function as they should. Practically every operation on a vehicle is actuated, controlled, and/or monitored by way of electrical circuits made up of computer modules, fuses, relays, wires, sensors, switches, and more.
Over time, as your vehicle ages, these circuits become prone to malfunction. Poor electrical connections due to corrosion, vibration, aging plastics, and other environmental factors can lead to a breakdown in a circuit and failure of the components in that circuit.
For instance, a faulty oxygen sensor (attached to your vehicle’s exhaust system) might actually be related to a bad wire leading to the sensor. A problem with the traction control system might be the result of a bad wire leading to a wheel speed sensor - or a blown fuse. Since every vehicle system has an electrical component to it, a problem with the electrical system can lead to false readings and system failures.
An electrical system inspection involves locating and repairing issues such as these to ensure proper operation of your vehicle and its various systems.
Virtually every vehicle function relies on electricity in one way or another. Whether it is being powered, controlled, or monitored by electricity, every system is affected if there is a problem in its electrical circuitry.
In fact, an electrical problem can cause a problem that appears to be something else. Your window might fail to move up or down. The problem could be with the window regulator, or it could be with a switch, wire, or fuse. Your transmission could fail to shift properly. The issue could rest with the transmission itself or with a sensor or wire. Many vehicle problems can stem from a fault in the electrical system.
Your vehicle may need an electrical system inspection if a technician suspects a problem with the electrical components themselves. Actually, some sort of electrical inspection occurs anytime a technician needs to pinpoint a problem after using a diagnostic scan tool.
Some of the more obvious signs that your vehicle might need an electrical system inspection include:
To complete an electrical system inspection, a technician may perform any or all of the following actions:
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