Is there a diagnostic program I can run to check my car’s electrical system?

My car seems to be having problems related to an electrical issue. Is there a program I can run to see what's wrong?

Allison Stone · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
Yes, there are several diagnostic tools available to diagnose electrical problems in your car. Electrical issues can be one of the most dangerous problems to have with a car, so it’s important that you get them diagnosed quickly and accurately.
Some tools and programs a mechanic might use to diagnose electrical issues include:
  • A scan tool. This plugs into the on-board diagnostics port in your vehicle and scans for various problems.
  • A code reader. This also plugs into the on-board diagnostics port, but rather than giving you a full diagnostic report, it issues an error code that can then be looked up in a database or manual.
  • A multimeter. This is a tool that connects to your car’s electrical system and can help identify faulty circuits, battery charge, and sensor issues.
  • A circuit tester light. This is a simplified version of the multimeter that connects to a circuit and illuminates if it gets power from that circuit.
If you’re having trouble figuring it out on your own, your best bet will be to take your car to a mechanic to properly diagnose the issue.
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