Understanding The Basics Of Truck Electrical Ground Issues

Trucks are an essential part of life as they are perfect for lugging loads around and yet still offer you the comfort required to drive any distance. Of course, they also undergo a lot of stress, which is why you should chat with a reputable automotive electrician and make sure your truck is regularly serviced. This will help to keep it running right and you on the road. 

Electrical Ground

The electrical system in most vehicles is becoming increasingly complicated as more and more parts of the truck are controlled and operated by electronics. But, one thing remains true for all electronic components, electricity needs a ground connection to return to the battery and complete the circuit. 

That is the main function of any ground system, to complete the circuit, allowing all the electrical components to work correctly. In most cases, the ground is attached to the chassis and a cable connects the chassis to the negative terminal on the battery. Therefore, if your component is properly attached to the chassis it will be grounded and the circuit will be complete. 

Of course, a good connection can go bad, causing your component to work intermittently before failing. The most common issue is corrosion of the wires and/or chassis earth point. 

If any component on your truck is working intermittently you are going to need to check out the grounding system.

Visual Inspection

The first step is to simply look at the component and follow its earth cable. It should have a clean connection on the chassis as well as the component. In addition, the wire joining the two should be in good condition. 

Check New Equipment

If you have recently installed, or had installed, additional electrical accessories then these may not have been installed correctly. This can lead to a ground issue and cause problems for your entire electrical system. Check your recent additions to make sure this is not the case.

Testing

It is also possible to use a multimeter and test the resistance value between the truck and the frame. You should also look at the values between the frame and the engine. In both cases you are looking for low resistance, if it registers over 0.3 ohms, you could have a problem that needs to be sorted.

At this point, it is often advisable to get an expert to fix it for you.

Code reader

Another place where ground issues are often discovered is between the main ECU and its subsidiaries. The easiest way to find if there is an issue with this is to use a code reader. However, the cheap readers you get in car stores won’t do the job. You need to have access to a professional reader, which means chatting to your local professionals. 

By being proactive about electrical and grounding issues you will find they are much easier to trace and resolve.  That is helpful as locating a bad wire in the wiring loom can be a very difficult and time-consuming option.