Repair Car Electrical Problems

automotive electrical test meterAutomotive Electrical Test Meter

When you learn to repair car electrical problems you gain an extremely valuable skill. In this electrical section of the fixmyoldride.com website we're going to dive deep into repairing specific automotive problems.

These individual articles tackle common problems on popular automobiles. You'll find these helpful auto repair articles indexed at the bottom of the page. However, we ask you to take a minute and read your way down to these information packed posts.

On this page we're going to talk about why gaining the skills to repair car electrical problems is such a valuable life lesson. In addition, we'll share resources that automotive training programs use to teach students. In addition, I'll share my secret weapon to accelerated electronics learning at the end.

Diagnosing Car Electrical Problems

When automotive instructors teach students to diagnose car electrical problems they actually retrain the students brain to think in a logical way. We perform effective electrical diagnosis in a logical step by step process. This discipline crosses over into other areas of automotive diagnosis.

After solving a few complex automobile problems the technician soon realizes, that by using these processes, there’s almost nothing they can’t diagnose and repair.

This includes washers, dryers and other household appliances that use similar switches, relays and circuits. As the years pass and these diagnostic skills are honed, you find yourself falling back on the skills to solve other problems in your life.

Now that I've explained the importance of learning how to repair car electrical problems, let's talk about some of the ways to learn these skills on your own. Self-taught students often become more effective at solving complex automotive problems than those that spent thousands of dollars on formal automotive training.

Repair Car Electrical Problems Vs Automotive Service

When I first got into the automotive business in the 80s, I quickly realized the advantages of repairing car electrical problems. This skill was in short supply back in the 80s and remains so today.

When I talk about the advantages I'm actually comparing it to other automotive services that mechanics perform on a daily basis. The question becomes would you rather replace engines and transmissions or stay clean and diagnose and repair automotive electrical issues.

For me, I find diagnosing car problems challenging and enjoyable. It's almost like solving a mystery. Replacing engines and transmissions might sound glamorous, but it's really hard and dirty work. In addition, these heavy repairs aren't properly compensated in the flat rate labor pay system. Technicians might be paid 10 hours labor to replace an engine. If it takes them two or three days they still get paid the 10 hours.

When it comes to electrical diagnosis the labor time is often compensated in a direct one-to-one ratio. In many shops you use the time clock to log onto a repair. After repairing the electrical issue you clock off. Compensation represents the actual time spent working on the vehicle. After being part of the flat rate pay system I can tell you that this remains the safest way to make money fixing cars.

Specialized Electronic Training from General Motors

GM Specialized Electrical Training BookGM Specialized Electrical Training Book

The first dealership I worked at enrolled me into a program sponsored by General Motors. I believe the program still operates today.

The General Motors Corp. called the program SET (Specialized Electronics Training). The eight day course proved challenging and rewarding. After completing the course we received certification and they even let us keep the training materials.

Visitors to fixmyoldride.com will benefit from this. I’ll develop a few training articles from this material in an effort to help do-it-yourself auto mechanics gain important skills to help them repair car electrical problems in the driveway.

With that said, many community colleges provide either electronics training or specialized automotive electrical courses throughout the year. Each automotive instructor has their own favorite textbook they use to guide the students through a logical progression of learning these important skills.

Fortunately, Amazon sells these same textbooks at a fraction of the price compared to your local college bookstore. In addition, you can find older additions for even less money. As an example, we provide a link to an Amazon automotive electrical textbook on the left. This is the latest or fifth edition of the textbook. You can locate the third or fourth edition for even less. These older reference materials still provide excellent information and training.

Secret Weapon for Automotive Electrical Training

As I promised in the opening I'm going to share with you what I consider a secret weapon in understanding automotive electrical repair. On the left again were going to link to this reference guide. It's the ASE study guide that professional technicians use to pass the electronic certification tests.

The study guide comes in at 1/10 the thickness of the textbook. Surprisingly, the information, although condensed, is still digestible by the average person. In the beginning of this electrical ASE study guide they run through the different sections covered on the exam. Absorbing this information takes a few tries.

At the end of the book, they provide professional level test questions and also supply the answers. For me I have always learned from providing a wrong answer on an automotive quiz question. After being wrong and then understanding the right answer provides a mental connection to understanding both the question and the answer. If you noticed not only is the ASE study guide thin it's also affordable at $15.

Automotive Electrical Repair Articles

How many times have you seen someone driving around with a daytime running light out? On Chevrolet vehicles it's a know and far reaching issue. See what it takes to fix Chevy daytime running light problems for good.

Do-it -yourself mechanics can diagnose complex electrical problems if they apply a logical step by step plan of attack. Try this strategy based automotive electrical diagnostic procedure.

Chevrolet trucks have some inherent electrical issues. In fact, 14 years worth of GMC and Chevy pick up trucks have a dimmer switch problem that causes the instrument cluster backlighting to stop working.

Our favorite Chevy trucks have another electrical switch known for a high failure rate. The GM power mirror switch isn't holding up as long as these trucks do.

The automotive coil is an amazing electronic device capable of boosting 12 volts into 50,000 volts. However, when it fails you'll need to review this article covering common ignition system problems.