Electrical/Charging Systems

A car's electrical system is powered by and depended on the battery.  Think of the battery in the car as the "brain" of the car's electrical system.  A car's electrical system is made up of a web of wires, fuses and relays.  Basic electrical wiring carries the current supplied by the car's battery and directs it to various components.  Fuses, that serve to protect the electrical system and components and relays, which act as magnetic switches to redirect current comprise the heart of any vehicle's electrical system.  When any of these components fail, simple components such as your lights, blinkers, or radio may not work--or even worse, your ABS brakes, traction control, or even your engine may seize to operate.

Most of us have experienced this scenario, you are about to leave to work and your car will not start, so you grab a pair of jumper cables and have your neighbor jump start your car and you are on your way to work.  However sometimes, if that one jump you needed in the morning has multiplied to several jump starts during the day to start your car every time, your car's charging system is in trouble.  Your car's charging system comprises of three items, the battery, a voltage regulator and the alternator.  A good battery is needed to start your vehicle; therefore, if you are having a difficult time cranking your engine in the morning, especially in the winter time, you are in need of a new battery.  Once your engine has turned over and running, your car's alternator takes over keeping the battery charged, electrical components powered and your engine running. If your car does start fine; however, driving down the road you notice that your radio doesn't work anymore, lights are dimming and your engine misfires and eventually dies on you; this is a classic sign that the alternator, not the battery may be at fault.