Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Electrical problems with the car that started suddenly

asked by on

There are some electrical problems with my car that started happening suddenly, for no apparent reason.

It was running fine, but that evening, several features stopped functioning. The lights for the tachometer and speedometer stooped working on the dashboard. Also, the only way I could get the headlights to work on bright, was to hold the lever. Otherwise, they were very dim. Taillights quit working as well. Other than that, everything functions, including wipers, 4-way flashers and the brake lights. I checked the fuses on the dash under the driver's side and everything seems fine. What could be causing this and how can I fix it? Thank you in advance.

If all these problems started happening at the same time then you will have to get the engine control module (ECM) tested to see if it is causing the problems. The ECM controls all these lights using input from the light switches. The dash lights and headlights are all controlled by this module.

There are no technical bulletins for this problem and it is not a common failure, so only an inspection of the electrical system by a mechanic can diagnose the problem.

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

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: Having trouble opening hood

There is a release mechanism under the hood, but it may be difficult to locate and manipulate. Often, the mechanism needs to be lubricated once it does release. I highly suggest having a trained mechanic, like the ones we have...

Q: Back lights do not work

The fuses keep blowing out due to a higher than normal amperage draw on the lighting circuit. This is likely due to an electrical short. The wiring will need to be traced to identify where the short is taking place...

Q: Rhythmic clicking in dash after blown HVAC fuse replaced

Hello. Most of the time this clicking noise is coming from one of the air door actuators in the dash. When the actuator fails, it cannot find the right position and will continually move causing this noise until it finds...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...