How to Fix Electrical Shorts in a Car

by Editorial Team

Electrical problems in cars can be a nightmare of tracing wiring trying to find the problem. An electrical short in your car can end in a dead battery and possibly a very dangerous situation, with you stranded with no power to run even the lights. Once you have identified the problem, however, you can fix it.

Step 1

Disconnect the negative pole of the battery and hook your circuit test light to the negative pole. Touch the tester's point to the negative side of the battery and see if it lights up. If it lights up, then you have a short in your system.

Step 2

Continue to monitor the light on the tester and pull the vehicle's fuses one by one until the light goes out. When the light goes out you have found the circuit that contains the short.

Step 3

Trace the lines going to and leaving the fuse box for the circuit with the short. Once you locate the short, you have two options on how to fix the problem. The first method is to wrap the exposed wire with several layers of electrical tape to seal the bare wire. The second option and the most reliable long-term solution is to cut the wire at the point of the short and install a connector that has mated male and female connectors. Crimp the connectors onto the two sides of the shorting wire. Connect the wire and monitor the circuit with the circuit tester. Monitor the tester and its state as you replace the fuse and test the circuit again.

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