Modern vehicles have a whole host of automations that would have been unfathomable even two decades ago. From the engine to the dashboard to enhanced cruise control options, the computers inside vehicles are now capable of automating all but the most complex driver’s functions in a vehicle.
All of this is made possible by a system of wires that link various electrical components to each other and the power source, typically your car battery.
In Volkswagens, one component of this system is more likely to fail over time compared to the others is the wiring harness. This is an assemblage of various cables responsible for transmitting electrical energy. When the wiring harness fails, this can spell disaster for your engine, as you may lose functions ranging from comfort, such as the air conditioner, to essentials like engine automation.
Signs of Wiring Harness Failure
There are a few signs of wiring harness failure to be aware of if your Volkswagen is climbing in years, or if you live in an extreme climate.
One of the more obvious signs of electrical issues in general is a failure for the engine to turn over when you try to start your vehicle. While this symptom is indicative of several potential issues, wiring harness failure may be the root cause.
Flickering and dimming lights can also be a sign of wiring harness failure. All of the lights on your vehicle depend on your car battery to an extent, especially the front and rear external lights. If your wiring harness is cracked or otherwise damaged, it’s possible your lights may be low or refuse to turn on at all. If the latter occurs, your vehicle will be unsafe to drive in dim light and at night, which is a sign for you to bring your vehicle to a trusted mechanic immediately.
While a failure to provide electricity is a concern, more so is the danger when the wires short-circuit. The worst-case scenario for a failed wiring harness is if your engine catches on fire. While this is a rare occurrence, it is exceptionally dangerous. If your engine ever starts smoking black, and especially if there are flames coming from any part of your vehicle, exit the car immediately and get as far away as is safe before calling a tow truck.
Causes of Wiring Harness Failure
The most common cause of wiring harness failure is typical wear and tear over time. Volkswagen owners are most likely to notice this issue after their vehicle has climbed in years and miles. However, there are a few other factors that can contribute to wiring harness failure, as well.
For instance, extreme weather conditions such as heat or cold can negatively affect the engine, depending on how your vehicle is stored. Temperature fluctuations can cause the rubber of the harness to expand and contract, eventually leading to permanent damage such as crumbling.
The heat of your engine can also contribute to crumbling. While some of this naturally occurs over time, it’s also possible for a chronically overheating engine to inflict excess damage upon your wiring harness.
What to Do if You Notice Wiring Harness Failure
Wiring harness failure can not only be problematic but potentially incredibly dangerous. If ignored long enough, issues can compound from simple flickering lights to your engine catching on fire. That’s why it’s so important to not only know your Volkswagen, but to be prepared to bring it in to a certified mechanic as soon as issues arise.
If you suspect issues in your Volkswagen’s wiring harness or any other components, bring your vehicle to Encore Motorcars of Sarasota today. We are proud to help drivers all throughout Sarasota and surrounding areas including Bradenton, Ellenton, Nokomis, Osprey, Parrish, and Venice, FL.
Our certified mechanics are trained to treat all vehicles with the utmost respect and expert care. Furthermore, our technicians are all trained on the latest techniques and protocols to ensure that your vehicle leaves our garage in much better condition than when it came in.
Moreover, most services and parts come with a warranty, which means you can feel comfortable knowing you made the right choice in mechanics.