All vehicles utilize electrical power for a variety of operations. From running the radio and lights to actually ensuring the operation of the engine. Without electricity your car would be a sitting duck, and we’re not just talking about hybrids. If you run into electrical issues it can generally be attributed to one of the following four common electrical problems.
The battery is often the root cause of complete electrical failure. A dead battery is easy to diagnose, as you won’t be able to start your car or use any sorts of electronics in your vehicle. Batteries will wear out over time and they’ll need to be replaced, but they can also die due to leaving a light on or using some other accessory while the vehicle’s engine is not running for an extended period of time. Batteries that die in this way can usually be recharged by conducting a jump start.
How does the battery stay charged, you ask? The alternator is connected to a belt system that is spun by the turning motion of the engine. With this motion the alternator is able to generate electrical power that effectively recharges the battery while the vehicle is running. The alternator also supplies electricity to the vehicle when the engine is running. If the alternator breaks the battery will quickly be drained and all power will be lost, resulting in a vehicle that will not be able to start.
Bad Spark Plugs or Wires
Spark plugs create a minute explosion that powers the pistons up and down. They require a tiny electrical charge in order to do so and should the plugs or wires they are connected to become corroded and the connection bad then the engine will not be able to properly operate. Signs of bad spark plugs include a rough idle, decreased fuel efficiency or the vehicle engine cranking but not starting.
If a specific electrical system stops working, such as the power locks or the turn signals, you will want to check out the fuse box. All electrical systems in a vehicle are routed back to a fuse that sends the proper amount of electricity to the system. If a fuse blows, as it is known, the system sends power to will stop working. This is a common issue and if this ends up being the culprit it is a very simple and inexpensive fix for most cars and trucks.
If you’re having electrical problems bring your car to a local auto repair shop before you end up stuck. For expert auto electric repair in Mountain View or the surrounding areas contact A-1 Auto Tech. We excel at auto electric service, and conduct a wide variety of other services as well. Give us a call today at (650) 487-2240 to request an appointment for professional auto repair in Mountain View at our AAA approved shop!
Please also see our article entitled “Main Parts of the Auto Electric System“.