Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car isn't generating enough electrical power t run all the accessories

asked by on

I bought the car new and have complete maintenance records. YourMechanic has done most of my maintenance for the last year. Problem started this past winter. When sitting at a light with the car idling, the headlights/dash lights dim noticeably. If the A/C is also running, the stereo will shut off. Sometimes the a/c compressor will cycle on/off repeatedly. By throttling the idle up to about 1500rpm, I can keep everything normal. I have replaced the alternator (YourMechanic), battery and fuses problem persists. I'm running out of ideas...

My car has 236500 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. Assuming the alternator and battery do indeed check out completely OK (they can be tested using the usual procedures), the problem you are experiencing is due to substantial unwanted high electrical resistance (in turn due to a broken wire, corrosion on a ground lug, loose terminal, maybe in combination, too). The high resistance causes a voltage drop and that is why lights dim and you have the other symptoms on one or more circuits. An Auto Electric Specialist will go over the vehicles electrical system, circuit by circuit, to find the high resistance or unwanted "load" as it is also termed and repair it. YourMechanic will be happy to have a specialist diagnose this electrical issue and resolve this for you.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 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
  • Home
  • Questions
  • Car isn't generating enough electrical power t run all the accessories

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: Won't start - 2007 Nissan Murano

Hello there, you have several issues going on with your 2007 Nissan Murano. No-start issues are common and the most likely causes are the battery, starter, fuel pump, ignition switch, battery terminals or the battery cables. Given that your...

Q: Started my car and it immediately went to full throttle

Hey there. You need to check to make sure nothing is holding the gas pedal down. Also make sure that you did not cause the cable to hold open the throttle in any way in the engine compartment. If you...

Q: Battery Light comes on and off

Hi there. Although it's nearly impossible to diagnose an electrical issue without physically inspecting the vehicle, it appears from here that you might have an exposed wire that is constantly drawing a current; which can cause serious damage to components...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
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...