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Battery And Electrical System Inspection
What Is The Electrical System?
These days a car is as much electrical as it is mechanical.
While the internal combustion engine is still, for now at least, the power unit of choice, a car simply would not work without the electrical system that runs the vast number of devices and accessories that are such a vital part of modern mobility.
Be it the basics such as a radio and lights, to the sophisticated advanced driver assistance systems such as collision avoidance and adaptive cruise control, the electrical system is a crucial component of a modern vehicle.
How This System Works:
While the new driver assistance features, the infotainment system, all the new gadgets and gizmos, are indeed quite high-tech, the electrical system that powers them remains a well-known quantity.
There’s a battery, a starter motor and a set of spark plugs that get things ticking, and an alternator that keeps things sparking and receiving electricity once the engine has kicked into life.
The electricity that is generated is delivered to relevant components throughout the vehicle via a wiring loom - an organised system of fuses, switches, wires, circuits, terminals and connectors that link everything together.
While the theory is simple, the system itself is pretty complex and, as with anything that complex, there are innumerable points at which something may falter and cause issues with the performance of the vehicle.
These problems may be limited to one isolated device or, at worst, the whole system.
Common Reasons For Battery And Electrical System Problems:
- Blown Fuse: A fuse is a safety device that breaks a circuit if too much current flows toward a component.
- Wiring Faults: The wiring loom contains miles of wires and cables that thread their way through the body of the car. Though obviously robust and designed to stay so, damage to wiring through corrosion or collision or other factors can occur almost anywhere.
- Failed Relay: Relays are switches that are turned on and off by electrical current. They are used throughout a vehicle’s electrical system – including for for components such as spot lights and headlights.
- Bad Alternator: essentially an electrical generator, the alternator provides power to the electrical systems when the engine is running. It also recharges the battery. A problem here will mean the battery itself will soon run flat.
- Bad Battery: The component that gives the entire car its kick, the battery delivers a burst of power to turn over the starter motor allowing the vehicle to start. We all know what happens when a battery is flat . . . you’re not going anywhere.
How Is A Battery And Electrical System Inspection Performed?
A technician will inspect the entire system and will likely perform diagnostic tests – including voltage checks on components – as well as tests on the battery and alternator.
They may run the starting system through a few cycles to check for issues.
How Important Is It To Have The Electrical System Checked?
So much of what a car does relies on a correctly working electrical system, so getting that system checked at regular service intervals just makes sense.
Not only is it a safety issue but prevention over cure is always cheaper and if an electrical system should play up thanks to neglect, then things can get expensive very quickly.
Even the most basic component of the system, the battery, can cause problems to the rest of the system if it is not working properly.
A professional should be the one diagnosing and resolving any issues and it’s easy to find just the right person for the job through AutoGuru.
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