What Does an Electrical System Do? 

Every vehicle has an electrical system that consists of three very important components: the battery, the starter, and the alternator. All these systems work together in a cyclical way, so an electrical problem that starts in any one of these components will affect the other parts of the system. 

For instance, the battery is the component that provides the power that the starter needs to function, and the alternator provides the energy that the battery needs to run. This means that a flaw in just one of these three crucial electrical parts will result in a vehicle that will not start or run as it should. 

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at each major electrical component and how it functions:

The Battery 

A vehicle’s battery is responsible for powering all necessary electrical currents to a vehicle before it starts. This includes providing energy to the ignition, fuel systems, and the starter itself. This is why if a vehicle’s battery is dead or weak, the vehicle won’t start. 

The Alternator

So what powers the electrical system when the vehicle is running? This is where the alternator comes in. Once the engine is powered on, the alternator takes over. It also provides the charge to the battery that keeps the vehicle running. 

Regular electrical system service for your car in Longmont, CO, are the best way to ensure the alternator is getting the proper current and voltage it needs to run properly. 

The Starter

The starter is the component that is directly responsible for starting the engine. The battery provides the power that is needed, but it can’t start the engine on its own. Instead, it relies on the specialized function that the starter provides in rotating the flywheel and activates the crankshaft to throw the engine’s pistons into motion. 

This means that even if the battery is performing as it should, without a working starter, it wouldn’t be possible to start the vehicle. 

How to Recognize Electrical Issues in a Vehicle

The best approach to avoiding electrical systems failure is always to take the vehicle in for regular check-ups at a shop that specializes in auto repair in Longmont. Getting a vehicle maintained and monitored on a regular basis is the best way to prevent electrical failure before it happens. It can often be practical to simply have the vehicle checked while in the process of getting an oil change in Longmont or elsewhere, for instance. Older vehicles or high mileage vehicles are especially prone to starter issues, so it is important to get them checked out often like when getting an oil change in Longmont. 

This way, any potential issues can be quickly nipped in the bud before they become a major concern, and help avoid situations where a driver is left stranded and also to save money on the cost of repairs and parts in the long run. That said, it is also important for drivers to be vigilant for signs that their electrical system is not working as it should. 

So what are some of the most common warning signs to look out for? 

1. The Vehicle Doesn’t Start Easily

When the starter is turned, the battery sends a spark to provide the fuel that the engine needs to start. If an engine isn’t cranking properly, a driver will often hear a clicking noise when they turn the key rather than the usual sound of the vehicle starting. This typically means that there is not enough current flowing from the alternator, starter, or battery to activate the engine. 

More often than not, in this case, the source is the battery or sometimes the starter. Meanwhile, a grinding noise when starting the vehicle is usually related to an issue with the starter. 

2. The Vehicle Is Losing Power

If there is an issue with the alternator, the battery will not have the power supply that it needs to stay charged and the electrical systems will start to lose power. If the alternator is at fault, the vehicle will often start but will not be able to keep running, especially for a longer time period. This is why a dead battery could also be an indicator of an underlying alternator issue. 

Keep in mind that battery problems can also be the source of the vehicle is losing power or won’t keep running. Batteries are generally only built to last about five years, so it is not unusual for them to lose power over time.  If this is the case, the vehicle might also be difficult to start. 

Either way, be wary of erratic performance of the vehicle, especially quirks in the electrical systems. It is always better to get the issue addressed before the alternator fails completely. 

3. The Vehicle’s Lights Are Malfunctioning

Every light on the vehicle receives its power source from the electrical system, so if the lights are malfunctioning, this can often be indicative of an underlying issue with the battery or alternator. Headlights and taillights are obviously crucial, but there are many other lights that are imperative to the safety of the driver including the interior lighting system and the dashboard monitoring system. 

These lights keep drivers and other vehicles safe, so it is important to get the issue checked out quickly if a driver notices that their lights seem dim or aren’t coming on as they should. 

4. Blown Fuses

Vehicles have a built-in control system called a fuse box that ensures the electrical systems don’t draw too much current or short circuits and put people in danger. 

Fuses are designed to blow in the case of an electrical issue, but they sometimes just blow out on their own. While a blown fuse itself is generally a minor issue, multiple blown fuses, especially in short succession, often indicate an underlying electrical issue. 

That said, even if it is only an occasional problem it is always a good idea to mention any blown fuses to a professional mechanic when the vehicle is taken in for regular maintenance like a wheel alignment in Longmont so that they can make sure everything is in good working order. 

5. Strange Smells

One of the first issues of an electrical problem is often an unusual smell when the vehicle is running. Strange smells can mean several things, but electrical smells will often come with a distinct whiff of burning plastic. 

If a driver notices an unusual smell while driving, they should always pull over immediately and identify the source, especially if any of the above issues have also been noticed.

What Electronics Need to be Maintained in a Vehicle?

To maintain a vehicle, a person needs to do a lot more than just get an oil change in Longmont. There are many other aspects to a person’s automobile that need attention as well. Many drivers think it is more than enough to get the outside and inside of their vehicle cleaned out to maintain it. Of course, it is definitely important to have all of these matters taken care of but there are other factors a person should not overlook as well.

If a person is looking to repair their vehicle and make it even better, they should definitely consider getter their electronics repaired.

Most people neglect the electronics of their car because they are unaware of what they consist of. Most vehicles actually have at least one computer installed in them. This computer keeps track of a wide variety of important factors such as controlling spark plugs and fuel injectors so that a person can truly get the most out of their ride. The computer controls very integral parts of the vehicle that determine everything from how the vehicle starts to how smoothly it drives while on the road.

If one’s vehicle’s computer isn’t working properly, then the entire vehicle will begin to suffer and decrease its performance as a result. Professional technicians can take a look and fix any problems that may be occurring because of a computer error. When the professional take a look inside, they will tell you whether they simply need to fix what is there or they may need to go a step further and replace the current system with a new one.

Onboard computers also have sensors located around the vehicle and these sensors are able to update themselves on how smoothly the vehicle is running overall. If there is a problem with how smoothly these signals are coming, one should get that checked out as well.

There are many electronics on board a vehicle and they play an important role in helping the car run smoothly and without any major problems. The computer in one’s automobile is responsible for controlling many important functions and also keeping track of the driveability or how smoothly a car is working. If a person notices any problems related to these functions of the vehicle, they should go in and have it looked at by a professional.

A trained professional who has the right experience and education will definitely be able to fix the problem no matter how complicated the situation seems to be. Vehicles and computers are both complicated subjects to try and decipher but going to the right service center will be more than enough to resolve any problems one is having with their automobile.

Car Care Basics: Electrical Warning Signs

Modern vehicles are equipped with complicated electrical systems that are responsible for controlling everything from windows and locks to starting the engine and even charging phones. When something starts to go wrong with the electrical system in modern cars, troubleshooting can be a difficult process. When drivers start to notice electrical issues they should do their best to avoid self diagnosis and head to their local auto repair experts in Longmont.

Time for a Service Visit: Top Electrical Warning Signs

Difficult Engine Crank

There are many factors that can come into play when drivers are having a hard time getting their engine to crank properly. Most of the time drivers assume this means there is an issue with their battery. While this is a common car maintenance issue, it shouldn’t be the first assumption drivers make.

Often there is a larger underlying issue in the car’s electrical system that drains the battery over time and therefore prevents the starter form cranking the engine properly. If a clanking noise is heard while turning the key, it often indicates that the starter is unable to get enough current flow to properly engage.

Strange Smell

If drivers smell melting plastic or electrical insulation while driving, there may be a major issue that needs to immediate attention. When a wire or electrical component shorts out the circuit will begin to draw more power than it can handle, creating a dangerous electrical situation. If drivers notice a strange burning smell they should take their car in to their trusted auto repair shop in Longmont as soon as possible for an internal car electrical service.

Blown Fuse

A blown fuse can be a frustrating and annoying process to remedy. But when fuses are continually blowing or going missing, it could mean there is a bigger electrical problem at hand. Blown fuses can indicate that an electrical device or wiring in the vehicle is drawing an excess amount of current. To avoid having to constantly replace blown fuses and possibly larger electrical issues later on down the road, drivers should get a professional to asses any possible issues and service the electrical system as needed.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Electrical issues, although common, can be very serious and possibly dangerous if left unattended. If drivers are experiencing any of these common electrical warning signs, it is time to schedule an internal electrical service inspection today!

Troubleshooting and Maintaining a Car’s Electrical System

A car’s electrical system is an extremely important component and is relied on for the smooth operation of any vehicle. Unfortunately, many car owners tend to neglect their electrical systems because they’re not as obviously in need of maintenance and regular care as the car’s moving parts. In reality, however, any car owner can benefit greatly from being aware of what comprises a car’s electrical system and what can be done to keep it running smoothly.

Parts of a Car’s Electrical System

There are several key components that make up a car’s electrical system. The battery, alternator, and starter are the three main parts of any vehicle’s electrical system; all three of these parts work together to start a car and keep it running. The starter and the alternator specifically draw power from the battery to start the engine. If even one part of the electrical system isn’t working properly, the entire vehicle may be unable to start.

Signs It’s Time for Electrical Service

There are many signs that vehicle owners may run into that can indicate that it’s time to bring a car into an auto repair shop in the Longmont area for service. The most common sign of electrical trouble is a vehicle that will not start at all. Often times, this is the sign of a bad battery. If jumping the battery doesn’t work, however, the problem could lie within the starter or alternator.

Another common sign that it’s time for electrical service is when a car’s lights start flickering or won’t fully illuminate when the car is turned on. This could refer to lights on the dashboard not properly working, or even headlights going dim inexplicably.

Electrical System Maintenance Tips

To better maintain a car’s electrical system, there are a few tips that car owners can take that are quite simple. For example, taking the time to clean off the connections on a battery from time to time can help a prevent unnecessary wear and tear on the car’s starter. Furthermore, having a car’s electrical system completely tested every couple of years is a great way to find and repair problems while they’re still small and inexpensive.

By keeping this information in mind, any car owner can keep their car’s electrical system running smoothly. As a result, they an experience fewer breakdowns and potentially save money on repair costs as well.

Auto Electric Service Solves Those Mystery Car Problems

One of the most important aspects of a car is almost completely invisible to drivers until the day it stops working right. That’s the car’s internal electrical system. It powers and controls things like ignition, timing, engine air intake, the activation of the anti-lock braking system, and more. These functions are subject to everything from sensor feedback to basic electrodynamics.

When part of this system fails, it can sometimes cause bewildering symptoms. The car may shut down for no apparent reason, start missing, display error lights, run too rich or lean, and more. Simply looking under the hood will often reveal nothing. This is because many auto electric problems now originate in the computer or the sensors it uses to determine how to operate rather than in the mechanical parts.

Because of this, providers of auto repair in Longmont have much more experience dealing with internal auto electrical systems than was once the norm. All-service garages have a variety of meters and code readers that help them track problems down so they can fix them without sending the customer to a specialist. Here are some of the things that can end up being diagnosed as electrical or computer system problems:

The Car Won’t Crank

Mechanics will check the obvious things first. In this case, those items will be the battery and the starter. If they test fine, then it’s time to look at electrical controllers like the safety switch that keeps a car from starting while it’s in gear. Interlocked alarm systems may also need to be tested.

The Car Cranks, But Won’t Start

Electrical problems involving fuel delivery are some things that can cause this problem. In modern vehicles, sensors direct the car’s computer to send a specified amount of fuel through the fuel pump and the fuel injector. A failure of one or more sensors or any connecting wires will interfere with the car’s ability to get the right amount of gas to the engine.

The Car Runs Strangely for No Apparent Reason

This is often a sensor problem. If the faulty sensor sends an error code to the computer, repairing it may be easy. When no error codes are present, it will take an experienced mechanic to pin it down.

Take a car in for an electrical check whenever it seems to be acting up for “no reason.” Chances are that the auto electric tech will find out what’s going on.