A Guide to Identifying Electronic Components for DIY Car Repairs


If your car suddenly breaks down, would you have enough money to pay a professional mechanic to fix it?

If you’re like many Americans, your answer is likely “No.” After all, the costs of repairing a vehicle have risen by 17% from 2022 to 2023.

That’s a good enough reason to learn a few tricks of the vehicle repair trade so that you can perform easy DIY fixes. One of these is correctly identifying electronic components in your car that are about to fail. This way, you can catch and address them before they worsen and become costlier to repair.

We’ve shared the basics of identifying and fixing automotive electronic components, so read on.

Electronic Components for Vehicles and Their Roles

Alternators, batteries, electronic control units, starters, and lights are examples of electronic components for the automotive industry. They make up your car’s vital electrical system.

If not for your ride’s electrical system, you won’t be able to start its engine in the first place. That’s because it provides the spark needed to initiate the combustion process. So, if no combustion occurs, the engine won’t receive the power it needs to turn on.

Those components are also necessary for your vehicle’s safety and security features to work. Without them, your anti-lock brake system won’t function, nor will your car’s airbags deploy. You won’t be able to enjoy your ride’s gadgets and infotainment system, either.

Worse, if those parts break down, they can cause your lights to fail. This is dangerous, as faulty vehicle lighting is one of the causes of car crashes.

Identifying Electronic Components Requiring Repairs

You can identify faulty electronic car components through a thorough vehicle inspection. This includes physically checking and testing your ride’s electrical system. You can start by doing the following.

Test the Engine

Start your engine and monitor it for unusual sounds or reactions.

If your car doesn’t start quickly or you hear odd clicking, it may signal an issue with the alternator, battery, or starter. These problems may also cause your engine to die or stop. In this case, the next step is to check the battery.

Inspect the Battery

Inspect your battery, its terminals, cables, and wires. Look for signs of loose electrical connections, fraying, and considerable rusting.

If you see loose connections, use the correct-sized wrench to retighten them. But if the cables and wires are already frayed, you may need replacement parts. Likewise, you may need to replace the battery if it has badly corroded terminals.

Use a Multimeter

A multimeter is a tool that measures electrical parameters. You can use one to test your alternator’s output and battery’s voltage. This can help you determine if it is time to replace these electrical components.

Make Your Ride Last Longer

As vehicle repairs become more expensive, one of the last things you want is to face such sudden costs. This is why you should aim to keep your ride running smoothly and problem-free by identifying electronic components that need repairs or replacements. 

So, follow the tips we’ve shared in this guide. They can help you find and address electronic issues in your vehicle before they worsen. 

Are you looking for more practical, money-saving DIY tips? Then check out our other informative news and blog posts!