Car Electrical System - How It Works - Troubleshooting Electrical Problems
Car Electrical System – How It Works – Troubleshooting Electrical Problems

Choose Your DannysEnginePortal.com Help Topic Below

Automotive Car Battery – Provides The Power To Starter And Accessories

Car Alternator – Feeds The Electrical System Once The Engine Starts

Car Starter Motor – How Do You Know If Your Starter Motor Is Failing

Sensors In Cars – Devices That Monitor And Control Engine Parameters

Automotive Fuses – If Any Electrical Item Fails – Check The Fuses First

Dash Warning Lights – Only Provide A Warning Something Is Wrong

Ignition Switch – Common Signs Of A Failing Ignition Switch

Automatic Shutdown (ASD) Relay – Function – Failure – Testing

Automotive Sensors – Why Are Sensors So Important Today


So, The Car Electrical System is way more that just the stuff you see under the hood. Consequently, Apart from the main charging, starting and ignition circuits, there are many other circuits.

As a result, Many of these circuits power:

  • Lights
  • Electric motors
  • The sensors and gauges of electrical instruments
  • Heating elements
  • Magnetically operated locks
  • The radio

So, How Do We Measure This Information:

Modern cars have a 12 volt battery. A batteries capacity is measured in amp/hours. So, A 56 amp/hour battery should be able to deliver a current of 1 amp for 56 hours. Finally, If the battery voltage drops, less current flows, and eventually there is not enough to make the components work.

Short Circuits And Fuses

The current in a wire may become dangerously high and melt the wire or cause a fire. So, To guard against this, ancillary circuits have fuses. The sudden surge of high current in a short circuit makes the fuse wire melt, or ‘blow’, breaking the circuit. When this happens, see if there is a short circuit or a disconnection. Then install a new fuse of the correct amperage rating. There are many fuses, each protecting a small group of components. Consequently, So that one blown fuse does not shut down the whole system.

Ancillary Circuits

So, The starter motor has its own heavy cable, direct from the battery. Also, The ignition circuit furnishes the high-tension impulses to the sparkplugs. And, Finally, The charging system includes the alternator, which recharges the battery.

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