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Electrical System Repair

Electrical System Repair

Understand the complicated wiring system that starts today's automobiles.

There are dozens of electrical circuits under the hood that power lights, electric motors, sensors and gauges. The number and types of electrical circuits controlled by the electrical system varies greatly by year, make, and model of vehicle. The Electrical System is composed of the starter and alternator, all powered by the battery. The alternator give the battery energy and the battery powers the starter. Especially in newer vehicles, all of these electrical components can affect the steering, brakes, and other key vehicles functions.

Batteries are playing a key role in the refinement of transportation. Rapid advancements in battery design, charging and monitoring methods will keep things interesting for years to come. Most Electrical System issues start and end with the Car Battery. We visually inspect the battery case and battery before testing the battery to see the power output with our Electrical System Check. If the output is too low, the battery must be recharged, and most likely replaced. All of the electrical cable connections are checked and reseated if necessary.

"In many ways, electrical troubleshooting is the exact opposite of mechanical repair. In electrical diagnosis, we spend most of our time finding out where the problem isn't." Our staff stays up to date with the newest techniques and technology to quickly troubleshoot electrical issues quickly, accurately, and confidently.

Batteries are consumable products, they are not built to last forever.

Not all electical and circuit related problems can be isolated and resolved through same day service. Higher voltage systems, such as those in hybrid-electric or full-electric-drive vehicles, require different procedures and equipments during repair. This is due mostly to the lethal danger related to the high-voltage electrical system.

Most often we are looking for the three sources of electrical circuit failure: Open faults, shorts, and voltage faults. Open faults include broken wires or inoperative switches. Shorts are unintended circuit paths either by abrasion or a stuck switch. Voltage faults occur when corrosion has taken place and the voltage drops or the system experiences overvoltage due to charging system faults.

In electrical circuits, good connections make all the difference. One of the most important principles in diagnosing electrical systems is the voltage drop. This is where voltage is consumed by resistance. Voltage is electric energy or electrical pressure. This electric energy is the potential difference between two points with a charge present between them.

WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON SOURCES OF ELECTRICAL SYSTEM FAILURE?

Battery Failure: A weak or dead battery will prevent a car from turning over and starting. When a battery isn't working properly, instead of engaging the starter and turning the engine on, turning the key will result in a clicking or grinding noise, or nothing will happen at all. Sometimes even the dashboard lights won't turn on in cases where batteries have no charge left.

Faulty Electrical Components: and wiring can drain a car battery overnight. Taking several short trips in a short period of time can deplete the battery without giving the alternator enough time to recharge the power. Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, have very bad affects on battery life. It may be time to examine your battery for power output if you notice that your headlights dim while travelling at lowe speeds or when idling at a complete stop. This is a strong sign that your car battery isn't producing the amount of power that your vehicle needs to operate all of the electrical systems.

Failing Starter: Starters sometimes fail due to either high or low current draws in the system. A high draw means the starter has become worn, while a low current indicates corrorded cables or bad connections. The Alternator keeps the battery charged and the electrical system operational while the car is on. While a car can start with a bad alternator, it will not be able to run for long before the battery will discharge and the engine will lose power. A failing alternator cannot produce the current and voltage necessary to safely operate all of the vehicle's electrics and should be replated right away.

Electrical Fuses/Fuse Box: most often this is nothing more than a minor electrical problem like a backup light or interior light not working or a turn signal might not light up. Simply replacing the fuse that was blown in the circuit usually fixes these small issues. In very extreme cases, blowing a fuse while driving can kill engine power, and even prevent a car from starting up or running.

HOW DO I KNOW MY BATTERY MIGHT BE FAILING?

There are a couple signs that a battery may be underperforming or dying. First, when you start the vehicle up, there's a slow crank or it takes longer than normal to start. The Check Engine Light sometimes comes on with a code indicating that the battery power is weak or low. Visually inspect your car battery to see if there is any swelling or bloating in the battery case, as excessive heat could have damaged the life of your battery. Battery leaks cause corrosion - meaning the battery and battery case may need to be cleaned or replaced after a leak is found.

Old age is the most common indicator that a battery needs to be replaced. Batteries are consumable products, they are not built to last forever. The average car battery lasts 4-6 years without issue and the best rule of thumb is to have it inspected annually after three years to ensure it's performing as expected.