As electrics have become more and more prevalent in our cars over the years, it’s opened up whole new worlds of things that could go wrong with them. Sometimes electrical faults can be severe, like a battery failing to even get your engine started at all, but other times the problems can be a little bit less in-your-face. If you’ve started to notice that the digital display on your vehicle’s dashboard is flickering, you’re undoubtedly wondering why. We’ve put together this blog post to explain exactly that.
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What Causes A Car Display To Flicker?
There are a number of things that can cause a car’s display to flicker, with some of them requiring minimal effort to put right and others needing a bit more time, and possibly money, invested into them:
- Loose or faulty wiring – Wiring problems beneath the surface of your dashboard could be the root cause, in the same way that this can cause electrical issues anywhere else in the car or your home. The electrical supply will be interrupted which means the device won’t be getting the power it needs.
- Blown fuses – In a similar fashion, problems with your vehicle’s fuses, like them blowing, could cause electrical problems affecting the display.
- Screen or dashboard damage – Most drivers are careful with their cars, but if yours has suffered some kind of physical damage, it could cause further problems to the wiring inside or integrity of the screen. Bear in mind that this doesn’t necessarily have to have been a hard impact; a spilled drink could have nasty repercussions.
- Improper installation – This is unlikely to be a problem with your stock infotainment system (although it can never be ruled out). It’s more of a worry when talking about aftermarket devices that you’ve either installed yourself or may have been fitted by a technician who doesn’t quite know exactly what they’re doing.
- Outdated software – A very modern problem indeed, but your car’s display systems might simply need a software update. Outdated software can hold bugs or glitches that cause it to operate in unusual ways. It’s entirely possible that this could take the form of a flickering display screen.
Flickering Lights While Driving
If you notice that your dashboard lights are flickering even while you’re driving, it’s probably down to a problem with your alternator. This is the device that keeps the car running once the battery has done its job and got the motor started in the first place.
A dodgy alternator will mean that the car isn’t getting a sustained level of power while the car is moving, which will impact everything that runs on electrics from windscreen wipers to the radio, and even the dashboard displays. Problems with this part should be dealt with as soon as possible, unless you want your car to die in the middle of a journey.
Flickering Lights While Car Won’t Start
As we mentioned above, the alternator does its job once the battery has gotten the car started. Well, if the vehicle won’t start but you’re seeing some lights flickering, it’ll probably be down to the battery itself this time. It may be lacking the sufficient charge to get the car going, but has just enough juice left in it to light up the dashboard sporadically.
However, while it’s likely that the battery is the main culprit, the fault could potentially still lie with the alternator. This is because the alternator also works to generate a charge for the battery when the car is running, so if your battery has gone dead unexpectedly, it may be this other half of the electrical tag-team that’s your problem.
How Do You Fix A Flickering Car Dashboard?
First things first, you should get your battery tested. If there’s a problem stemming from the battery, it might be as simple as switching out the old one for a new one. The same could be said for the alternator; if that’s where the fault lies, it’ll need replacing.
If the problem is indeed inside the dashboard itself, it’ll be a case of taking apart the device (or perhaps even the dashboard itself) and locating the problem. Wiring problems should be looked at by a qualified electrician or vehicle technician who knows how to work in that environment safely, whereas a faulty fuse could probably be replaced by yourself, if you know for sure that that’s the problem.
If your car has more problems than you dare to try and repair, simply sell it with Scrap Car Comparison and recoup some cash to put towards a newer, more reliable vehicle. Don’t worry if you live in the remote countryside or a dense city centre; we have partnered scrap and salvage experts on our network who are positioned all over the UK. In fact, we’ve got so many connections in so many locations around the nation that we can even offer free collection for every customer! Give us a call on 03333 44 99 50 or use our scrap car price calculator to get a quote for your vehicle today!