Not every car owner understands that many of their car's parts run on electricity and are not actually powered by the engine itself. Windshield wipers, headlights and brake lights, dashboard lights, the dashboard fan, and other such parts are all powered by the battery of your car and if these fail, you'll need to take your car to an auto electrician and not just a mechanic. Before you do that however, note a few quick tips for troubleshooting some common auto electric problems.
1. Check the car's fuse box
If your windshield wipers or dashboard fan simply fail altogether and don't even struggle to work, this may be the fault of frayed wiring or another component that operates that part. However, your car may have simply blown a fuse. The fuses in your car work just like circuit breakers in your home; they shut down when there is too much electricity in any one circuit, to prevent an overload.
To check this, find your car's fuse box; your owner's manual will tell you where it's located. Note if a fuse has popped out of place. If so, take it to an auto parts store and buy a new one just like it, and slide that into place. If this doesn't correct the problem, you may need to get the wiring of the component checked by an auto electrician.
2. Replace the battery
When you're running the air conditioner and have your headlights on, and then turn on the windshield wipers, you may see a sudden slowdown of all those components. This is often a problem with a weak battery and not necessarily that any of those parts need repairs. If your battery is very old, it may be close to being drained and cannot put out enough power for all these components.
Install a stronger battery and note if this corrects the problem by allowing all components to run at once. If not, an auto electrician can check if the wiring of your car is outdated and cannot deliver the power that all those components need to operate at once.
3. Replace burnt-out bulbs
If your headlights or brake lights seem dim, this may not be an electrical problem at all but may be because the bulb is burning out. You can easily change a bulb in your car by simply popping out the covering, installing a new bulb, and replacing the covering.
Your car's owner's manual can tell you how to do this, but if this doesn't correct the problem, auto electricians like Drive-in Auto Electrics can find if the wiring to the lights is failing or if there is corrosion around the connections, two common reasons for lights to dim.