Tips for finding a short circuit in your car's system

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Tips for finding a short circuit in your car's system  23rd February 2021


An automobile comprises interconnected mechanical elements and complicated electrical wiring technologies. While we may enjoy contemporary comforts such as stereos, interior lighting, and even hologram speedometer readings as long as the electrical systems function correctly, all systems and components come to a standstill on account of short circuits.

A short circuit is a wiring fault because of a loose or defective wire that shunts electricity between courses before it hits its target. Although the signs of a short circuit are similar to those of an open circuit, the diagnosis is somewhat different. A short circuit may happen in various ways, and it's not always straightforward to locate and fix.

However, to understand how to discover a short circuit, we must first grasp how a perfectly working circuit operates. So here are a few tips for locating a short circuit in your car.

1. Make a map of your vehicle's circuit:
Remove the wire harness from your vehicle and turn to your Early Warning Device (EWD) to start diagnosing the circuit. Identify the various cables and circuits you're inspecting so you know where to go next. Wire colours should match the colours specified in the EWD. However, this may differ based on where you obtained your EWD.

2. Examine any exposed wiring:
One may also save time and effort by inspecting any exposed wires first. You may find a damaged or chafed wire that you can immediately begin mending. However, since most automobiles' wiring is tightly wrapped, you'll almost certainly need to try a few boards to figure out where the issue is.

3. Inspect all wires for faults:
If you feel a specific wire causes the problem, you may detach its connection at either the sensing or loading ends. Check your test indicator to see if it fades out or your multimeter to check if it stops buzzing. Next, you may remove your car's panelling and inspect the wires to see if you can pinpoint the problem.

4. Testing the 5V circuit:
In case the short is a 5-volt circuit, the Engine Control Module utilises it to regulate the gearbox and engine. You may unplug the battery first, then the ECM. It'll also enable you to identify electrical oscillations and approximately pinpoint the location of the short circuit.

5. One-by-one assess all the fuses:
Check the fuses and look for any easy, quick short circuits. Take a fuse at random and attach your testing indicator to its socket terminals. If a current is detected, the test LED will light up. If the test light does not ignite, it may suggest that electricity is not flowing to that fuse. This indicates that the damaged wire is along that route.

Knowing how to detect a short circuit may save you a lot of time and money while ensuring that your car is safe and perfectly operational. While it might be time-consuming, utilising the approach mentioned above should provide you with the knowledge you need to detect and fix any short circuit in your vehicle.

However, if you still face difficulty identifying the origin of the short circuit, visit the nearest garage. It is ideal to have your vehicle backed by insurance for even minor expenses like these. Search for the best car insurance in India and get yours right away to cover your vehicle against damages caused due to unexpected short circuits.

Find the best car insurance India for your vehicle HERE .

Disclaimer: The information provided above is for illustrative purposes only. To get more details, please refer to policy wordings and prospectus before purchasing a policy.