It starts as a smell. It is the unmistakable odour of burning insulation. Shortly thereafter a wisp of smoke curls out from under the dash. Then comes the similarly unmistakable pop of a fuse blowing. At which point your radio cuts out.
Or maybe it’s the windshield wipers that stop–or the engine itself. No doubt about it, you have a short
It may well be that the source of the short is obvious, like that wiring dangling under the dash. On the other hand, you may need to do some serious troubleshooting to find the source of the problem.
A short circuit occurs when an energized conductor touches either the frame or body of the car or another wire. Shorts to ground usually will have low enough resistance to draw sufficient current to blow the fuse.
If the short is to another circuit, you may see things like the dome light coming on when you hit the turn signals.
You may discover a wiring harness or multi-prong connector meltdown, caused by the heat liberated from a short or high-resistance connection.
Moreover, not all wiring problems are shorts: Open and intermittent connections also can make your life difficult.
It’s time to call your auto mechanic!!