The check engine light, which is connected to an on-board diagnostic system, monitors many parameters. Our knowledgeable technicians can usually determine the source of the problem without putting your car through unnecessary diagnostics, using factory diagnostic tools from Active Autowerke that other shops just don’t have. And that means more time on the road, and fewer hours in the shop.
An automobile requires an electrical system to produce, store and distribute electricity in order to function. Three basic components allow your car to maintain and supply an electrical system: a battery, starter motor and an alternator.
Your car’s battery system fuels the electrical system, storing power to start the engine and auxiliary power to run other online devices such as a car stereo, A/C, power adapters and sound systems when the car’s engine is turned off. The car’s battery should be replaced every 3-7 years. Regularly check battery terminals for corrosion and clean with a terminal brush and check a car battery with a digital battery tester.
The starter motor, then, simply draws power from the battery to start the engine.
The charging device is called an alternator and functions as a charging device powered by the engine. The alternator powers the electrical system while the car is running and then returns the stored power to the engine. If not functioning properly, your electrical system will have to draw on the battery which can seriously limit the life of the battery.
Your automobile also contains a voltage regulator which controls an input from the alternator in order to maintain constant voltage output levels to the rest of the electrical system. It also includes a fuse box that holds fuses that protect your electrical system from an overload. It is usually located underneath the steering column nearest to the driver’s braking foot. These fuses are the first line of defense and will blow when a circuit is drawing too much amperage before other more important parts, say, the motor does. This is also the first place to check if your interior lights are not working.
Your car’s electrical system may be one of the most difficult systems to diagnose for most amateur do-it-yourself’ers. Any number of parameters from the several components involved could be causing the problem and without the special equipment, you could be causing yourself a bigger headache. We have the special equipment to do this for you at Oceanside Motorsports in Oceanside, Ca. Unintended crossovers created by an amateur can problems with your electrical system.
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