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

Choose Your Car Electrical System Help Topic Below

Automotive Car Battery – Provides The Power To Starter And Accessories

Automotive Relays – How They Work – Why You Need Them – Testing

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


So, The Car Electrical System is way more than; 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

So, 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 spark plugs. And, Finally, The charging system includes the alternator; which recharges the battery.

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