The 5 Most Common Signs That Your Truck’s Electrical System Is Failing

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Electrical System

The electrical system is the heart of any vehicle. While the engine is essential to create the power that drives your truck forward, it can’t function properly without the electrical system.

The main electrical components consist of the battery, alternator, on-board computer, and a lot of wiring. Of course, there are also many sensors on new trucks that relay information to the computer and control the various parts of the combustion process.

When a sensor fails the truck can have a small glitch, when the system starts to fail the engine can struggle to start or run, rendering your truck useless!

Being in contact with a good automotive electrician will help you deal with the issue and get back on the road as quickly as possible. However, having an idea of the most common signs that your truck’s electrical system is failing will help you to get attention early and keep it on the road. 

Here is 5 Most Common Signs That Your Truck’s Electrical System Is Failing

  • Starting Issues

The most basic function of your electrical system is to get your truck started. This is a combination of the battery providing power to the starter motor which turns the engine and allows the computer to provide an electrical spark. Of course, the electronic system also provides the fuel via an electronic fuel pump and injectors. Even the air intake is controlled by valves which are electronically operated. 

In short, a good battery is essential to operate all of these elements. The moment your engine takes longer to start when cold you’ll suspect your battery. It could be that the battery is dying. But, it can also be a sign that something else is wrong with the electrical system, such as its failure.

  • Occasional Errors

Modern trucks rely on a multitude of sensors to tell the onboard computer how much fuel to deliver, the air supply, and many other tiny calibrations that allow you to drive smoothly along the road. 

When your electrical system is starting to fail the signals from these sensors won’t get through properly or will get confused. The result is an array of confusing and irrational issues. For example, your truck may stutter, lock itself, or appear to be sluggish. But, these things happen sporadically, leaving you unsure of what the issue is or if it will happen again;

These are generally signs that your electrical system is failing  

  • Headlights Dimming

Another warning that your electrical system is not functioning properly is when your lights dim. This is most noticeable when your engine is idling and often suggests an issue with the battery. It may be that the battery needs replacing or that the alternating is no longer charging the battery properly. 

Either way, it needs to be checked and resolved, eliminating more complicated electrical issues and keeping you safe on the road.

  • Warning lights On Dashboard

You know you have an array of lights on your dashboard and, hopefully, the warning ones are never illuminated. But, if they do illuminate you should investigate further as quickly as possible. The most obvious one is the check engine light which could point to any number of mechanical or electrical faults.

However, there are other warning lights that suggest electrical issues. You should also consider investing in a code reader. This can be plugged into your vehicle and will give you a readout of all the error codes. You can use these codes to identify any issues with your vehicle. Many electrical issues can be picked up early this way before you even notice an issue when driving!

All you have to do is connect the code reader every month, check the codes, and clear them. You’ll soon notice the same codes and be able to resolve any issue before your truck stops working. It should be noted that cheap code readers don’t pick up all the codes but they will give you enough to highlight an issue.

  • Burning Smell

Perhaps the most obvious sign that your electrical system is failing is when you can smell burning or fuses keep blowing. This tells you that there is probably a short-circuit in your system which will need to be located and fixed before it causes a fire.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to locate a fault in the complex network of cables and sensors within any vehicle. That’s why you should give the professionals a call and ask them to locate the issue. It’s better to pay a few dollars and have the electrical issue resolved than it is to lose your truck to a fire.

Looking after your truck means getting it serviced regularly and knowing the most common issues that can occur. This will allow you to take action before things go drastically wrong and leave you off the road.  As always, prevention is better than cure, and usually considerably cheaper too!

Read Also : A Guide to Different Types of Tow Trucks and When to Use Them