Battery/ Electrical System Diagnostics
We all know the feeling, when we get into our vehicles to discover something was accidentally left on. Your vehicle’s battery primarily helps to start the engine. It also stores energy generated by the alternator and runs the secondary electrical systems such as your lights, radio, power seats, power windows, and additional electrical components in your vehicle. Your vehicle’s electric system powers every little thing from the ignition and fuel systems.
The electrical systems of today’s vehicles are complex. Newer cars have more electrical components than ever before, which strains your electrical system, making it hard for the battery to keep up. Think about it: electric seats, seat heaters, power locks, windows and sun roofs. And then we have all the power outlets for our cell phones, computers, and DVD players. We also have navigation systems and powerful stereos.
Plus there are all the family car engine and transmission computers, traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, sensors and on and on. Even the security system is running off the battery while the car is turned off. And of course, summer heat can take a real toll on battery life. Fortunately, battery technology has given drivers resilient batteries that are able to meet these strenuous requirements. But the fact is car batteries just wear out over time. Eventually, every battery gets to the point where it cannot hold enough of a charge to start your car. Sometimes batteries need to be replaced because they have developed a leak.
The electrical system in your car works similar to the electrical wiring in your home, except there is no external power supply in your vehicle. The power in your vehicle is generated by the battery and further distributed through a system of wiring, switches, circuits and relays.
On-board diagnostics (those little lights on your dashboard) have changed a lot since the 90’s, and with the increasing development of electric-based vehicles, you need an expert to properly diagnose electrical issues. The electrical system is far more complicated in hybrid vehicles that use electricity to power the engine and not just peripheral systems. Our mechanics have decades of experience servicing a variety of vehicles with multiple on-board diagnostics. We are experienced in investigating and solving a wide range of electrical issues in both gasoline-powered and hybrid vehicles.
Here are some of the common areas where such issues often originate from:
Dead or failing battery: a sure sign of a dead battery is when nothing turns on when you turn the key in the ignition.
Failed starter: a starter is an electrical motor that sets the engine in motion; with a failed starter your car won’t start.
Damaged electrical wiring
Faulty switches and relays: similar to damaged wiring, they will prevent electrical current from reaching its destination.
Expired light bulbs