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The Top 7 Most Common Electrical Problems in Cars


A car is a complex machine, and the electrical system is integral to the performance of your vehicle. The electrical system has many individual components, and any failure can lead to serious issues.    

There are specific tell-tale signs of an electrical issue, so it’s essential to look out for these problems and address them early on before they become a more significant and costly obstacle. Here are the top seven common electrical problems to watch out for in your car to keep you and your family safe.    

Lights Not Working Properly

There are many lights within a car. While they are all critical, headlights are a common light needing repair or replacement. Headlights are vital to safely driving any vehicle, and you can get pulled over if your headlights or taillights are not functioning correctly. Depending on the light and particular bulb that needs replacement, spend upwards of $300 for this repair.    

Dead Car Battery

A car’s battery is the center of the entire electrical system. If the car battery dies, the electrical system can’t function, and car batteries can fail for various reasons. One of the most common ways for a car battery to die other than normal wear and tear is a car not being operated for long periods. Even newer car batteries can fail if the car is not being used regularly, so make sure to use your car every few days or every week to maintain the life of the car battery. The average cost to replace a car battery is around $350.   

Spark Plugs

Spark plugs create the spark of electricity needed to ignite the combustion and start the engine. There is a spark plug for each cylinder in a car. Spark plugs begin the chain of events required to power the car, so it’s crucial to replace spark plugs as necessary. You’ll typically have a “check engine” light turn on to indicate a spark plug issue, or there could be engine problems with idling or strong vibration. The cost to replace a spark plug is about $200 per plug.  

Alternator Issue

The job of a car’s alternator is to provide most of the electricity and to charge the battery. It also supplies electricity to the car while it’s running, so an alternator is equally as important as the battery itself. There are many signs of a problem with the alternator, such as windows not working correctly, your car not starting, a jump-start doing nothing to fix it, or your headlights alternating from bright to dim by themselves. The average cost to repair an alternator begins at around $600.   

Blown Fuses

Fuses defend against too much electricity flowing through the electrical system. If there’s too much electricity, then it could melt the system. Fuses are there to protect the system but can sometimes blow out. The fuses are housed in their box inside the car. Usually, the individual fuses will need replacing, but sometimes, an entire fuse box needs to be replaced for the electrical system to work. Loose fuses or stains on the fuse box are signs that you may need to replace them. Expect to pay around $100 to replace a fuse.   

Engine Not Turning on Properly

Your car should start up quickly every time you turn it on. If it takes a few tries, or your car hesitates to turn on, then it’s a sign to check the starter motor. The starter motor is a small electric motor that turns on the car’s engine, so starter motor issues mean your car will take a while to turn on (or it won’t turn on at all). The average cost to replace the starter motor is around $400.   

Wiring Issues

Just like the electricity that flows through a house via wires, your car also has wires that carry electricity through the electrical system. Wires can become corroded over time, they can be damaged from rodents chewing on them, or the wires can be melting. If your car starts to experience issues with power loss, a burning smell, or fuses regularly blowing, you may need to replace some or all the wiring in the car. This is a costly repair, upwards of $2,000, depending on the extent of the damage.   

Protect Your Car from Electrical Issues

Electrical issues are some of the most common problems that vehicle owners have, and an auto protection plan from Everything Breaks will cover the costs of many of these repairs. Our plans cover many common electrical issues, from minor problems to significant and major components. Don’t get stuck with an auto repair bill you can’t afford. Call us today to learn how to protect your car for only a dollar a day! 

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