Does Electric Damage Make My Car Junk?

Find out when electrical problems are minor, and when they signal doom for your vehicle — and how JunkCarMasters can help you get paid for your car.

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If your car is having trouble and you suspect the electrical system is responsible, you may be worried. Similar to “engine problems,” electrical trouble can refer to a huge array of issues - some big, some small.

Understanding the source of your car’s electrical woes can help prevent an accident as well as help you make the smartest financial decision for you.

When Not To Worry

Fortunately, some electrical problems really aren’t problems at all. A $0.30 blown fuse, for instance, could be responsible for your missing turn signal or your car refusing to turn on at all. A dead battery is another simple replacement you may need to get back on the road.

If money is tight and you’re wondering if a problem needs to be fixed at all, simply ask yourself the following:

Is my car still driving? Is my car still reliable? Do all my safety features still work?

If the answer is no to any of these, you’ll need to get into the mechanic as soon as possible. However, if your electrical problems are more in the realm of comfort features (like your radio or seat warmers not coming on), you can probably overlook the issue for now!

Keep in mind that your car works as an overall system, so if you notice electrical problems increasing or spreading, get to the mechanic.

Pricier Problems

When issues of safety arise or the problem becomes more complicated than a dead battery, electrical repairs tend to become more expensive. Though all cars made after the 1980s feature computers, the ever-evolving technology means older cars tend to have cheaper electrical repairs. That said, the diagnosis of your electrical problem will likely set you back about $100 to get started.

The amount you’ll be looking at paying varies a lot depending on what the issue is. A bad starter, for instance, may run anywhere between $300 and $1,000.

If the issue is more serious or systemic, like if the Engine Control Module needs to be replaced or the car needs to be rewired, you’ll be paying a minimum of $1,000 - $1,500 to get your car running again. Depending on your car’s age and condition otherwise, it may well not be worth that money.

When It’s Not Worth Fixing

Making the decision not to fix your car can be difficult, especially if you’ve grown attached to it through your adventures together. The unfortunate reality of electrical issues is that they’re often costly and can present a serious danger to you and other drivers if left unaddressed.

If you’re not sure how to tell if it’s time, a good method is to compare the estimated cost of repairs your mechanic gave you and compare it to the fair market value of your car, which can be found online.

This is the same comparison your insurance company makes when you get in an accident to determine if your car is worth fixing! If the cost of repairs is too much in comparison to the value of your car (think 50% or more), it’s likely not worth having the repairs made.

Selling Your Car With Electrical Problems

If you’ve come to the difficult conclusion that it’s time to sell your car, your first thought is likely that the electrical issues that are making you quit on it will make it hard to sell. Fortunately for you, there are lots of buyers out there looking for damaged cars. You’ll just need to know where to look.

Trading in at a dealership, if it’s an option given your car’s condition, won’t get you the money you deserve for your vehicle. Dealerships look to profit off of cars they can sell used on their own lot, and so they pay less for damaged vehicles than they’re worth.

You’re better off selling your car yourself and bringing the proceeds to a dealership for your down payment when you’re ready to move into your next vehicle.

Get Paid With JunkCarMasters

Selling your car online is the safest and easiest way to get rid of it, especially if it’s got electrical issues impacting its ability to get you around safely! is the best place to sell. JunkCarMasters works by pairing you with junk car buyers in your area who are looking for cars like yours and offering the best available price for it.

To sell your car with us, simply upload photos of the vehicle and its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to get a free quote in just 90 seconds. Once you’ve accepted your quote, you can schedule your free pickup at your convenience.

A driver can arrive to take your car and hand you a check within 24-48 hours. Sell your car fast and say goodbye to electrical troubles with JunkCarMasters today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Electrical Problems In Cars Expensive To Fix?

They can be, but it depends on the problem. Many electrical repairs, such as replacing specific parts, can be as cheap as $200. Replacing the fuse will rarely come out to more than $150.

However, other repairs, such as replacing the alternator, may come out to more than $500. If you need to rewire the car, you may easily need to pay well over $1,000 for the job. At that point, you may need to start calculating whether it’s worth making the repairs, or whether it’s time to sell your car as-is.

How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Car’s Electrical System?

That depends on what exactly the problem is. If you need to replace the entire system, you may end up paying several thousand dollars. If your vehicle is older or has other problems, it may not make economic sense to make that kind of repair.

Instead, you may want to consider junking it with a service like JunkCarMasters. You can get an offer for the true market value of your vehicle in 90 seconds, schedule a free pickup and get paid for your car in 24-48 business hours. With money in your pocket, you can arrange to buy a new vehicle without problems fast.

What Causes Electrical Problems In Cars?

Many things can cause electrical issues in vehicles. One serious problem that has shown up in the past decade, for example, are rats attacking and munching on internal wiring, attracted by the new soy-based insulation that many automakers have switched to.

Another potential source of electrical problems is different parts going bad, whether due to manufacturer defects or simply old age.

Water and flooding can also pose threats to vehicles. A flooded car can develop rust and corrosion, and certain parts in the electrical system may burn out if flooded.

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