Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My electrics are all going crazy

asked by on

I am having a ridiculous number of little electrical problems (gremlins) in my 2008 Chevrolet Equinox. The radio would randomly shut off at first, and the windows or locks would act funny. lights would stay on when I parked and kill the battery. Sometimes the car wouldn’t start on the first key turn. Crazy for a car with 51,000 miles on it! Very disappointed, no idea how to even start finding a cause. Where do I start?

There are numerous Technical Service Bulletins (TSB #PIT-4730A, #TB-080849017B, #4011, #07224) that address this issue and probably a few that you haven’t seen yet. These issues have multiple causes, from defective wiring, shorted fuse panels and in some cases defective computers. Bad grounds can also cause this issue, though these are difficult to diagnose. The problem is that it can be difficult to tell if you are having multiple parts failing at the same time or one issue that is affecting multiple parts. Diagnosing an electrical issue takes time, patience and unfortunately more often than not, a trip to the mechanic. The normal person will have no idea where to start, since in the design of modern cars the manufacturers often conceal the wires in large bunches, making an individual problem very hard to trace and it often becomes a time consuming mess. A qualified mechanic, such as those provided by YourMechanic, can often diagnose the issue, and those occasional trips to the dealership to receive a print out of TSB’s and recalls related to your VIN may be helpful as well.

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: How do i fix my left turn signal?

You could have a defective hazard switch that is keeping power to the left turn signal. Try and turn on and off the emergency flashers several times then see if the problem goes away. I recommend replacing the hazard switch...

Q: Replacing standard manual mirrors with folding tow mirrors.

Hi there. You would need to install the switch to allow the mirrors to fold out. Plus you will also need to install a switch for the heaters in the mirrors. For the lights that are to work in the...

Q: ECU battery fuse blows and has a short.

Check all of the sensors on the engine and transmission and make sure that all of the wiring is connected properly. Then check the ground wiring to the engine and chassis and see if anything is loose. Look for any...

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...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...