Questions tagged [electrical]

Concerning the main electrical system of a motor vehicle or internal combustion engine. Consider using [tag:electronics] for radios and other such systems. Use [tag:electric-vehicle] for questions about electrical powered vehicles and their unique systems.

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2answers
52k views

When reconnecting a battery, why connect the positive first? [duplicate]

When reconnecting a battery, why is it recommended to connect the positive lead first, and the negative lead last? What difference does it make if they are connected in the opposite order?
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4answers
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Cigarette lighter socket no longer charges phone

I have swapped out the USB cable, the USB adapter, as well as had the socket tested by volt-meter at the mechanic. Everything checks out as normal. The "charging" icon shows up on phone display, but ...
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5answers
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2006 Kia Sedona intermittently not starting

What could be causing my (non-)starting issues? Occasionally (once every two weeks or so) when the keys are inserted and turned to the start position, nothing happens. No noise, no dome lights dimming ...
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3answers
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What happens if I disconnect the battery while the car is running?

There are some comments on the question Are there any modern diesel engines that require electricity to continue running? suggesting that disconnecting the battery while the car is running can damage ...
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1answer
496 views

1996 Mustang GT won't start with shifter in Park, but will start in Neutral

I just had this weird problem today. The engine will turn fine, but won't start with shifter in Park. Once started in Neutral the motor runs fine with no hesitations. Battery is strong. Any ideas?
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3answers
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Tricks for disconnecting sensor connectors

Cars these days have a lot of sensors. A lot of these sensors are connected using some kind of plastic clippy. There are numerous different kinds of plastic clippys in production. This question is ...
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3answers
3k views

Why no common ground for two 12v deep cycle marine batteries connected in series?

My trolling motor instructions advise that a common ground MUST be established for connecting the trolling motor either to one 12 volt marine battery or to two 12 volt deep cycle marine batteries ...
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3answers
2k views

High beams work, low beams do not. What is wrong with headlight?

I have a 2000 Jeep Wrangler TJ and the high beams work but the low beams don't. I replaced one of the relays under the hood and the high beams started working but the low beams still don't work. What ...
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2answers
3k views

Alternator Upgrade: Sizing cable to battery

I am trying to figure out the size of wire I need to get for my new, 160 amp, alternator. I found this chart which shows the resistivity/length of different wire gauges. Chances are that I will not ...
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2answers
229 views

Turn Signal Malfunctioning

My left turn signal started malfunctioning the other day, here are the symptoms. left turn signal (on dashboard) clicks at roughly twice the rate as the right turn signal. rear turning light flashes ...
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4answers
114 views

What's the vehicle lifespan effect when turning systems off by using the ignition key?

One of people who drive our Van Toyota Sienna 2014 has the habit of turning OFF all of the internal controls by counterclockwise turning the ignition key. This is to say, before turning the engine off ...
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3answers
443 views

Which car parts require more energy than the starter?

Today, my car didn't start. I think that the crank was turning over because I could hear the loud sound a car makes just before starting up but the car was not starting. Anyways, I called a mechanic. ...
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5answers
346 views

What functions & features should I look for when buying a multimeter?

Going to be used for car maintenance/restoration work and around the house repairs.
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6answers
30k views

Mustang charging system warning light on, but battery and alternator both passed testing?

I have a Mustang that the battery light stays on. I changed the battery and the alternator was checked by Autozone, they said it was good. I need help
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2answers
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Should ground wires be fused?

I'm installing a ham radio transceiver into my car, which draws up to 25 amps and can't be used with the 12V socket. Instead, I'm following this and this and similar guides, which recommend running a ...
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2answers
155 views

How did my moon roof and all my windows open without anyone driving, touching or not being in the car in 2 -3 days?

I have a 2009 Honda Accord EX 4 cylinder. Nobody had driven my car in 2 days, all windows were closed including the roof and the car was locked. On day 3 I left my driveway in another car and I ...
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3answers
1k views

'89 BMW 525i E34 - Starting problems if car not driven for a day

I have an '89 BMW 525i E34. When driven every day, the car is fine. It has trouble starting when it has stood for a while. This car sat for a few years before I bought it. Even after the purchase, it ...
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2answers
4k views

Ford Focus - bad starter?

Car 1.6L Ford Focus estate, made in 2000. It is right hand drive, although I doubt that matters. Issue When the ignition key is turned from "On" to "Start", there is a click (sounds like a relay ...
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2answers
92 views

Diagnosing Electrical Problems

I'm just looking for some general advice. Today I was driving at around 80km/h when my battery light came on and the car seemed to lose power. When I went to start it, the engine seemed to start (at ...
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4answers
16k views

Electric start isn't functioning anymore

The electric start of my motorcycle isn't working anymore. I can hear a buzzing noise. I can still start it using kick start though. Can it be fixed? Please help!
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3answers
8k views

Car turning itself off in highway

I drive a 2001 Chevrolet Lumina and I was just wondering if someone here has had any experience like mine. Today I was driving on the highway and then suddenly the car had turned itself off ...
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4answers
552 views

Low beam headlights failing every 3-4 weeks

I have Volvo XC90 2006 and for the past few months every 3 - 4 weeks changing low beam light. Last time even did not last 5 days. Any recommendations why this light is failing?
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3answers
353 views

possible alternator-battery mismatch if I replace the existing battery with a much higher CCA one?

I have a 2000 Audi A6 Avant 2.5 diesel whose current Audi battery (approx. 650 CCA) is dying. Am looking at an Exide X-Tra Plus at 900 CCA to replace it. However, should I be concerned that the ...
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2answers
10k views

Can cold weather cause TPMS sensors to malfunction?

I just bought a new 2011 Honda Fit and while driving it home from the dealer, I noticed that a little light on the dashboard was on that said "TPMS". When I got home, I consulted the owner's manual ...
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2answers
318 views

MK2 Golf 1.3 1985 cuts out after starting

I have a 1.3 VW Golf running a Pierburg 2e3 carb which has been off the road for at least 7 years. The problem I currently have is that the engine immediately cuts out when the key is in the run ...
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2answers
112 views

What's this switchlike device?

Under the hood of my mothers Renault Kangoo (2001-2010), I found this device, usually covered by the red rubber cap on the right: Inside, there are two metal plates with interdigitating teeth, and a ...
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4answers
2k views

What are the stereo voltages?

I have some ideas for a rear facing camera, AI, and communication servers I would like to add to my car ( a 2006 ford focus). I can handle all of that set up, what I have no idea about is the power ...
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3answers
12k views

How warm should a relay get?

I'm chasing a number of DTCs on our 2002 Jetta TDI (ALH engine, 3rd generation, late production, controls with 4-wire glow plugs). Most of the codes are from components that share a common power ...
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2answers
798 views

Headlight washer blocked by ice

A few weeks ago I was coming back from Quebec and got caught in a terrible ice rain. My entire car was covered in roughly 1cm of ice. Most of Audi s4 have headlight washers that come out on random ...
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2answers
1k views

2008 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP electricity cutting in and out

I'm having issues recently with a 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP. A few days ago, as we are pulling out of a parking spot, there is a loud pop and everything dies. The car shuts off, it has no ...
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2answers
248 views

Car not starting after jump

I purchased a Ford Escort from a dealer year ago. I've had battery/ignition/electrical shorts/starting & car dying issues. I've bought a new battery for jumping the old battery everyday. The last ...
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1answer
904 views

What is a vibrator on a Model T ignition coil for?

In this post here What vehicle does this ancient ignition coil fit? there is a device that is cited in @paulster2's response that is called a 'vibrator'. Here's the diagram from his answer where it ...
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2answers
975 views

Mystery wiring harness underneath the gearshift on a 2004 Ford Focus

My Ford Focus had an evaporator core leak, so the DIY hobbyist in me took apart the instrument panel, dashboard and finally, replaced the evaporator core. I'm on my way putting parts back together. I'...
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2answers
45k views

diagnose faulty voltage regulator causing battery overcharging?

I've been having an issue with an '03 Toyota Echo. The alternator died (at least that is what I thought) as the battery kept going flat. I found an alternator at a wrecker and fitted it, and I ...
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2answers
277 views

Battery running flat on a regular basis

I drive a Vauxhall/Opel Astra Mk5 1.8l SRi, registered in 2004. For 2/3 months now I've been having to keep a spare battery in the car as the car battery is running flat. My first thought was that ...
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1answer
74 views

Wires Coming Out Of Center Console

I bought a 2011 Ram 1500 about 6 months ago. I removed the rubber liner for a small compartment in my center console. When I tried putting it back I realized it would not go down all the way and found ...
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3answers
2k views

2002 Saturn SL2 Stalls After Warmup No Spark

My SL2 stalls (it just cuts out, no warning) shortly after warmup (this all started right after I topped off the coolant after a low coolant light came on, although I don't know if they are related). ...
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1answer
856 views

What is the formula to determine a relay for aftermarket lights?

Looking at aftermarket Light Bars that do not come with any relays or switches so I can build a custom setup. Per research I didn't find this question asked before. The closest two questions I found ...
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2answers
1k views

4-way car connector to 7-way trailer connector

I bought a CURT custom wiring harness that plugs into vehicle tail light assembly to provide a 4-way flat socket. It has a simple plug & play design that eliminates the need for cutting and ...
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2answers
4k views

Tachometer reading fluctuates at constant engine load/speed

The car in question is a 93 Miata, the tachometer needle fluctuates very randomly at random times (did it while idling and while I was driving). But the engine load does not change, it is the gauge it ...
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1answer
247 views

What is this covering used on the wires (blue and yellow). I found it on my KTM 390 Wiring Harness

I am making a custom wiring harness for automotive purposes and I have a KTM 390 Wiring Harness over here. Any car/bike wiring I have seen has this kind of black insulation. I need to know what it is ...
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1answer
312 views

Wire Lights '72 CB750

I'm working on the wiring of the indicators on my '72 Honda CB750. I don't have the manual and I've also had a really tough time finding the manual online (I've found a '73 but there seems to have ...
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1answer
3k views

How long can a car battery be uncharged before it is ruined?

I believe if a car battery is left uncharged, it will eventually ruin the battery's ability to hold a charge due to irreversible chemical reactions in the car battery. How long would it take for the ...
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1answer
2k views

Idle dipping and rising when headlights are on - not Idle Air Control Valve

On my 1993 VW Mk1 Cabriolet I've been trying to find an issue that causes the idle to rise and dip (to near stalling levels) when power is being drawn (in this case, when the headlights are on - there'...
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1answer
659 views

Why spraypaint a stator when refurbishing an alternator?

I went to a shop and picked up a "refurbished" alternator. I saw the work area and noticed that they seem to partially spray paint the stators on their refurbished alternators. Mainly the main body ...
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2answers
134 views

Car Shuts Off during low RPM and only happens at night or early morning

I have a Holden Barlina 2004 VY model v6 I have it for at least 2 years now, but this issue only started to happen two months ago. As I turn it on, it goes smooth and quietly, but as I drive, ...
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1answer
3k views

Can a lightning strike cause your car to not run?

If lightning strikes a tree in your yard and your car is close by, can this cause your car to not work properly? I had an employee call in stating that lightning struck a tree beside their mobile ...
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1answer
774 views

My Yamaha cut off while idling and now there is no power

I Started my FZR600 this morning for work. Normal crank. As I lowered the choke it started to die out so I tried to give it some throttle but it didn't help. The bike cut off completely. Checked all ...
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2answers
3k views

How much current should my car draw with the ignition on?

With the ignition fully off, my current draw is pretty much zero, but with the ignition on (to be clear - engine not spinning, starter motor not engaged) it increases to 2.5 amps (at about 11.5v, ...
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2answers
167 views

Does 2000 Mercury Sable LS Premium have 12V available?

I'm going to be driving/living in a '00 Mercury Sable Sedan LS Premium 4D, which has a 24V electrical system. 100% of my equipment runs on 12V. Does this car have a high-current (>40A) 12V regulator ...