DIY Maintenance: Electrical Repair and Diagnostics

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All cars need occasional maintenance and repair. Why spend your money at a repair shop when you can save a few dollars by doing a few things yourself? 

When people think of doing maintenance or repairs on their vehicles, it usually consist of oil changes, tire rotations, and minor brake repairs. There is more that you can do yourself to save time and money. Electrical repair and diagnostics are two that are often overlooked. 

Electrical Repair

Many modern cars come with complex electrical systems such as the  dashboard gauges, power accessories, and entertainment systems. Many problems that arise with the electrical systems can be solved easily. The first thing you should do is consult your owner's manual or the internet to see if there are any reset procedures. If there is a computer glitch, then this will help. Check the fuse box for any blown fuses. The fuse box is usually located either in the engine compartment or under the dash. You will be able to tell if a fuse is blown by the discoloration of the fuse. Replace it with a new one of the same color. 


Even though some repairs should be left to the professionals, you can still diagnose the problem yourself and save time at the repair shop. Take note of your car’s behavior and the conditions in which any problems or irregularities arise. This includes unusual noises, poor performance, or a decrease in fuel economy. To make things even easier, some cars come equipped with an on-board computerized diagnostic system. To find out how to generate error messages, consult your owner's manual.  This information may indicate the source of a problem, preventing any unnecessary repairs.