Q: Lightning knocks out engine, brakes, steering, dashboard, radio

asked by on

During a thunderstorm and driving 70 mph, I was in the left lane on the interstate and saw a bolt of lightning hit to the right of the interstate in the grass. 31 of my 43 electrical modules immediately failed, including the engine, brakes, steering, dashboard, and radio. I couldn’t get the car to restart or to even shift to neutral. The dealership has kept my car for 105 days continually. While I’m waiting, could you tell me what is usually done when there is this kind of lightning damage? Thank you.

The lighting strike could have sent out a pulse that took out the majority of the electrical control modules in the vehicle and may have even caused a number of shorted circuits. Repairs must be made to known faulted circuits and then tested for integrity. This process can take a very long time especially when a shop is dealing with other customers as well.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Lightning knocks out engine, brakes, steering, dashboard, radio

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: What does the Low Tire Pressure warning light mean?

Your Altima is equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). It’s designed to keep track of the amount of air in your tires. If one of them drops below the threshold, the system turns on the Low Tire Pressure...

Q: 2005 Chevy Impala shuts off when slowing down, steering wheel gets tight and so does the breaks. Check engine light is on.

Hi Rashaun. Thanks for contacting us today. Your Chevrolet Impala has power-assisted brakes and steering, meaning that when the engine shuts off, it will make braking and steering more difficult - so this part is normal. The issue is your...

Q: Dashboard lights gauges radio

Without knowing the exact model, it is hard to make an accurate assessment. All of the main power distribution comes through fusible links so these will need to be checked. It is possible one of these links has burned and...

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...
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...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...