Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Flickering lights

asked by on

The dash lights flicker as do the headlights. The car runs a little rough it has not been tuned could this be the problem?

My car has 210000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

If the idle fluctuates enough, you might see some flicker, because the engine of course drives the alternator. However, the roughness could be a separate issue - that is, the alternator could be failing, too. One diagnostic strategy is to look at the charging system first. If the charging system is working (and the battery passes a standard load test), resolve the poor running condition and that might resolve the flickering lights. As far as the rough running, due to the high mileage, before all else I would test the engine cylinder compression to see what the basic mechanical condition of the engine is. From there (if it passes) there are innumerable ignition and fuel system faults that could be the cause. A YourMechanic certified technician can come to your location to perform a general lights inspection, or a Car idle is rough inspection, in order to diagnose these issues.

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: Engine and transmission mounts

The first way is to visually look at them to see if you can see the rubber is damaged, broken or oil soaked from a leak that should be fixed first. If the transmission is an automatic transmission then you...

Q: Antijacking component

The anti-theft system may be experiencing a fault and in most cases will store a code pointing to the problem component. I recommend having a technician experienced in vehicle electrical systems check the vehicle and read fault codes. They will...

Q: Car dies after charging battery

The symptoms described for your Mitsubishi Outlander lead me to believe you are dealing with a weak battery. As batteries age, they lose the ability to hold a charge. The Check Engine Light could be on as a result of...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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.