Your Car’s Electrical System

A car’s electrical system

Your car’s electrical system consists of the battery, starter and alternator. The battery provides juice to the starter. Then, the alternator gives that battery the energy it needs to power your car. If one of these parts is not working properly, your car won’t start or run correctly. Our expert technicians can perform an electrical system check to ensure everything is working properly. It pinpoints any problems that may occur with your electrical system. If our technicians find a problem, they’ll let you know what they can do to fix it. We can curb any problem before it starts, so you won’t be left stranded with a non-starting vehicle.

Battery

Until your vehicle starts, your battery is providing the car’s entire electrical current. This includes the current to the ignition and fuel systems, which are responsible for creating the combustion necessary for your engine to function.

Starter

While the battery supplies the power to start your vehicle, the starter is really what gets the engine going. The battery supplies a small amount of power to the starter motor. The starter then rotates the flywheel, which turns the crankshaft and begins the movement of the engine’s pistons. This intricate process is why it’s key to make sure the starter works.

It’s difficult to determine when a starter will fail exactly, but an electrical system check at Firestone Complete Auto Care can help recognize the warning signs. We check if the starter is drawing the proper amount of current. An excessive current draw will indicate a worn starter, while a low current draw points to corroded cables or connections. Not to worry! This is a problem our expert technicians can fix.

Alternator

When your engine is running, the alternator keeps the battery charged and the electrical system going. Your car can start with a faulty alternator, but it won’t be able to run for an extended period of time. If the alternator requires replacement, your vehicle’s electrical system will perform erratically, its battery will discharge, and eventually your engine will lose power. A complete electrical system check from Firestone Complete Auto Care will tell you whether the alternator is generating the proper amount of current and voltage. That way, you have a heads up before your alternator fails.

See It in Action

So you turn the key and your vehicle’s electrical system goes into action. The battery provides juice to the starter, the starter turns and the alternator gives the battery the energy it needs to power your lights, defroster, wipers and accessories. See how it works:

Electrical System Illustration

A healthy electrical system. For a reliable ride.

Your car’s electrical system is important. Really important. So is staying informed about its ability to perform. Left unchecked, a weak or dead battery can wreak havoc on other electrical system parts, like alternators and starters. If your electrical system is showing signs of acting up (see symptoms here), don’t delay. Bring your car to your local Firestone Complete Auto Care so they can assess the situation, make sure voltage is correct and prevent further potential damage. You don’t want failure be an option, ever.

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