Q: Car has electrical problems and starting issues

asked by on August 18, 2016

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?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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

So my windshield wipers get stuck in upright position and won’t go back down what could this be?

The windshield wiper system uses a small electric motor to move the wiper arms that you see on the windshield. That electric motor is controlled through a switch, relay, fuse, and wiring. One, or more, of those electrical components has...

My a/c compressor is rattling

There may be a few reasons your compressor can rattle. First the noise will have to be determined to be internal or external to the compressor. If the noise is internal then it is most likely a bad compressor. If...

How do you change the language on the message center?

Your car is automatically set to display information in English in the message center. However, if English isn’t your preferred language, you can change it to another option. Here’s how to do that: Cycle through your options until you...

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Infiniti EX
If If you’re in search of sport meets practicality, the EX may just be your perfect match. With the sedan-like driving of its G37 sibling combined with utility functionality and plenty of power under the hood, this is one SUV...
What Does the Convertible Roof Warning Light Mean?
The convertible roof warning light turns on when the roof is opening or closing, and will flash if repair is needed, such as cleaning or replacement.
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Subaru Impreza
The The 2012 Subaru Impreza is sure to be a crowd pleaser. The already wildly popular compact sedan got a new redesign for 2012, giving it sleeker lines and a more contoured look, but that’s not all there is to...