Q: Car has electrical problems and starting issues

asked by on

My car has gone 65,000 miles so far. It's been having some electrical problems lately. I tried replacing the alternator twice but it didn't help. When the car starts acting out, the dashboard lights would come on but only at the left side of it. There would be random shutoff of the radio and turn signal sound as well. The service traction control system warning would turn on unexpectedly. After all this, the car occasionally won't start and the key would be stuck in the ignition. I would manage sometimes to restart the car after it's been sitting for a while. This also differs, so I would wait for several minutes on occasion, whereas at other times it won't start for the next day or so. What might be causing this?

My guess is that the problem is with the body control module (BCM). The BCM functions as the power mode master (PMM). In this role, it receives an input from the ignition switch when the key is turned to the "On" position. The BCM then sends this information to other modules that needs this information to activate relays and other outputs. The BCM also serves as a gateway to facilitate communication between various modules. The BCM is directly involved in both instrument cluster operation and vehicle starting. I suggest you have a trained professional, such as one from YourMechanic, diagnose your vehicle’s starting issue and determine if my theory is correct.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car has electrical problems and starting issues

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Regarding the ABS light and traction control lights coming on - on snowy road. Is it safe to drive the car.?

If the ABS and traction lights are on and stay on then there is a problem in the system and will need to be tested. It is okay to drive the vehicle with the understanding the systems are inactive and...

Q: Smoke is coming from the dashboard and right kick panel.

Hi there. If the smoke has a burning smell, then there is a short in the wiring and is burning through the insulation on the other wiring. The dashboard may need to come off to locate the source of the...

Q: Will not go into gear

Your vehicle doesn't have a conventional transmission oil dipstick. The transmission fluid level and condition has to be checked using a rather lengthy procedure - too lengthy to describe here - but it is documented in the Factory Service Manual....

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...