The Most Common Electrical Problems Your Car May Have

It seems that every year, the new cars on the market have more gizmos and gadgets than ever. On the surface, we can see electrical components all over the place both interior and exterior. Plus, the inner workings of a vehicle are riddled with them as well. These are the most common electrical problems your car may have.

The most common electrical problems for any given model will, of course, vary. That said, there are so many different cars but they all share at least a few similar electric components. Light bulbs, batteries, and infotainment systems––to name a few. So which electric parts break down the most often? What are some common vehicle electrical problems?

The most common electrical problems are often minor

According to Cars.com, the most common electrical problems your car may have are typically to do with light bulbs. Headlights, brake lights, reverse lamps, etc. are each the culprit of countless replacements each year. If you have ever dealt with this issue––and you most likely have––then you already know that it’s a relatively minor problem compared with other car-related issues owners can face.

wires like these various colored wire at an assembly plant are often the culprit of common electrical problems
wires waiting for assembly at a truck plant | Getty Images

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But what other minor problems do car owners often deal with involving electrical components? Cars.com lists the other two most common electrical problems your car may have as either a battery issue or a complication with the charging system. But there are actually more common issues caused by vehicle electric issues that we see in other places.

A look at RepairPal.com shows us that there are many makes and models that deal with a faulty anti theft system. Glitches caused by the raised chip––or transponder keys––are preventing peoples cars from starting. This anti theft precaution has been in use for decades now. The long term wide usage of this system gives it more room for error, so that’s one of the reasons we’ve seen so many complaints of this across a spectrum of makes and models.

Sometimes, cars deal with software problems

Another common electrical issue you will find on the RepairPal website is people dealing with software problems. Sometimes, software updates are necessary in order to upgrade a system for a vehicle to function optimally. Software issues can cause a vast range of frustrating vehicle electrical problems to deal with.

A look at the large touchscreen inside a 2019 Ram 1500
2019 Ram 1500 with a 12-inch touchscreen display | Stellantis

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There is a long list of reasons a car may deal with software problems. In addition, frustrations due to software inflict so many various vehicles. From radio malfunction to stuck windows to dash display lights. If it’s not one of those common electrical problems your car may have then it could virtually be anything.

Are vehicle electrical problems expensive to repair?

These vehicle electric problems can get expensive. In fact, RepairPal.com says it’s between $88 and $111 just to get the electrical system diagnosed. Anything can go wrong. It’s often vehicle electric problems due to weak wiring. Sometimes repairs of wiring are deep within the model and it’d not exactly recommended people DIY this unless they are experienced.

RepairPal.com recommends hiring a trusted professional who can perform the tasks of diagnosis and repair. In fact, not every mechanic can do the repairs. Newer cars are very complicated electrically. If you suspect you are dealing with electrical problems make sure that the diagnosis is done by a mechanic that is also likely to be qualified to perform the repairs as well.