Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Electrical shorts turning the engine off.

asked by on

when I use the power windows, the stereo will cut off. other times, with the AC, radio and engine running pushing the window buttons will dim the electrical system but nothing else. weirdest issue is with AC, radio and engine running, when I turn on the headlights, it kills the engine. checked alternator symptoms but they don't match the problems I'm having. headlights are bright and all lighting appears normal.

My car has 215500 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello. It sounds like there is a serious co...

Hello. It sounds like there is a serious connection issue going on. Most of the time this is caused by a bad alternator. It can also be caused by a bad negative battery terminal connection or a failing positive battery cable. I usually test the battery cables first to see if they have high internal resistance and to make sure that they have good connections. If they are fine then I load test the alternator. If that is not the issue either then a voltage meter will need to be used to try and find where the voltage issue lies. If you need to have this electrical issue fixed, consider YourMechanic, as a certified mechanic can come to your home or office to diagnose the electrical system.

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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car won't start

Hi there, thanks for writing in. It's highly unlikely that the computer is damaged, especially with only 48,000 miles on the vehicle. You may have an issue with your key or the ignition system that is causing some electrical gremlins...

Q: Help! Hard Vibration

Hello. It sounds like you have two different issues going on here. The rattling noise when starting the vehicle typically either comes from the timing chain or one of the engine accessories. I usually start by trying to isolate the...

Q: The car has difficulty starting after sitting for a month, it has rough idling and sputters

Hello. This can be caused by a number of things. I typically start by checking to see if there are any codes in the computer. If there are not, then I typically will clean out the throttle body, as a...

Related articles

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 P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.