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How to Fix an Automotive Short Circuit

Automotive electrical problems might seem insurmountable, but they’re not. All you have to do is locate where the current stops flowing, which is easy with today’s tools. Here’s how to fix automotive electrical short circuits.

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How to Fix an Automotive Short Circuit

Finding and repairing a short circuit in your car or truck’s electrical system can cost $200 and up at a shop. But if you spend $15 on a pro-grade shop manual and $40 on specialty tools, you can track it down yourself in an afternoon.

Tools required:
Lineman’s pliers
Soldering iron
Utility knife
Short circuit detector
Fuse socket connector kit
Shop manual for the year, make and model of your car or truck
Wire crimper

Materials required:
Butt connectors
Electrical moisture sealant
Electrical tape
Flux
Solder

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Step 1: Connect the Tester

Yank the fuse for the shorted circuit and install a fuse adapter. Then connect the circuit breaker leads to the adapter.

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Step 2: Trace the Circuit

Find the short with the meter by sliding the meter along the wiring harness. Watch the needle swing back and forth. When it stops swinging, you’re at the short. Open the wiring harness and locate the chafed or shorted wires and repair them with electrical tape. Reinstall the fuse and test the circuit.

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