How to Know When ‘That Noise’ Is Auto Electrical

Mar 2015

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You’re driving your car on the smooth road when suddenly you hear a digging sound. You stop on the side and check, but nothing seems to be wrong, so you go back to driving but that noise is still there. For any person who’s not a mechanic, ‘that noise’ can mean a lot of things, be they squeaky, groaning or stalling noises, and not one of them will make sense to us.
A car is a heavy piece of machinery and build for heavy duty working, but at times, one single wrong turn or over heating can cause the car to stop or worse, never start again. Auto electrical components of all cars seem the same to an untrained eye, but when you hear that noise, it’s better to consult a professional rather than being content with it being background noise. But before we rush off to a professional, we should first know when it is time to go, and before it, if we can fix or at least diagnose the source of the noise on our own.

Warning Lights

The dashboard is there for a reason. Besides providing us with the basic info of our car, there are also warning lights which we sometimes ignore, because we don’t understand what they mean, and neither do we have the time to find out. Many people see the lights and instinctively think they have a battery problem, but that’s not really why the light goes on. Many times, the engine might have overheated, or the water in the battery may be running low, but it could be something else, like the alternator, as well. The light in the dashboard is linked to computer systems within the car, monitoring the voltage output of the engine and other components of the vehicle.

Ignition pulses and triggers

Ignition problems are the most irritating of all. The ignition system produces a sharp, high-energy pulse. Ignition systems work on spark energy and spark voltage and are directly related to the engine. Voltage or current works on the power so it is possible for a plug to misfire from an inadequate spark. Another overlooked issue is current on the ignition coil’s ground side. Any disruption in the current pathway can cause the ignition to receive less than the power required to run it. Ignition and crank triggers need to be tested in order to determine the actual culprit.

Ground wires

If you slam on the brakes, and suddenly your headlight or tail light turn on, do not mistake a ground wire for a haunted car. The ground wire runs through the entire car, and if it is not receiving the correct voltage, not only can it cause engine problems but also causes the alternator to stall. Ground wires are hard to find, but can be found by running a simple volt drop test. Ground wires are the usual suspects for any engine noise that might be happening.
It can be hard to know what that noise is, but once you do, not only can you estimate yourself what the fix might cost you, but it can also cause you to be aware of it in case of a recurrence.