Car Battery and Electrical System Maintenance - Garden City
Your car's starting and charging system is a key component of your vehicle's power plant, and without it- you'd be dead in the water and going nowhere fast! Your vehicle's battery is responsible for provides the power to start the engine and operate any of the electronics while your engine isn't running.
As with most things, it is of the utmost importance to keep up with regular maintenance and preventative repairs on your vehicle's electrical system before they become an issue that can leave you stranded and avoid having to deal with disastrous and stressful emergency repairs.
What are the Major Electrical Components?
- Battery - Your battery stores the energy needed to start your vehicle and temporarily run electical systems while your engine is off.
- Alternator - The alternator generates power to replenish your battery and run electrical systems while your engine is running.
- Serpentine Belt - Most modern vehicles use a single belt that takes power off of the engine and turns the alternator.
- Tensioner Pullies - Tensioner Pullies are used to keep the belts tight so they don't slip.'
- Fuses - Fuses prevent electrical spikes from reaching sensitive components, they will burn out during a power surge.
- Cables and Wiring - Battery Cables handle bulk charging and discharging while electrical wiring connects the individual components like the radio and lights.
What To Do If Your Car Battery is Dead
One morning, you walk out to your car, coffee in hand, put the key in and….nothing. You try again thinking that it’s a bit chilly and your car needs a minute to warm up only again….nothing. Your battery is dead and your car won’t start. You have no clue what could’ve caused it because you made sure that the lights were all off when you went into the house last night. Well, there is some good news and some bad. The good news is that we here at Boise Muffler Auto Repair can help you find the issue and how to solve it. The bad news is that a dead battery may be the symptom of a bigger issue!
What causes a battery to be drained?
There are many different reasons why your electrical system failes.
- Very frequently, batteries won't charge because the battery connection is corroded. In some cases the connection needs to be cleaned with a wire brush and reseated or be replaced.
- The battery may be old and losing its ability to store a charge. Batteries need to be replaced periodically
- It's not uncommon for alternators to go bad, either. Your mechanic can tell if the output is low while troubleshooting your electrical system. Electrical system issues can present themselves with changes in the weather. Batteries may work fine in the summer, but lack the cranking power in cold weather. Heaters and air-conditioners can go for long periods of time without being used in these idaho seasons!
- Loose belts and tension pulleys within the engine could be causing the alternator from doing its job right.
Some of these issues you can check on your own. For example, you can check both the positive and negative connections to the battery yourself just by lifting the hood and making sure that the connectors to your battery are making contact and are not loose or corroded. If that’s all good, then the issue may be elsewhere.
We recommend getting your battery tested during the Autumn months to make sure you are prepared for Winter!
Why is an alternator so important to my car battery?
You can think of the alternator as the charger for your battery. Once your car is started, the alternator is what keeps the battery charging much like if you constantly had your phone plugged into it’s charger. If there is no charger, there is no power and therefore there is nothing to recharge the battery. Once the alternator is having issues, you can expect your car to possibly turn on the check engine light or even start sounding like it’s lagging when you turn the key. Charging systems are complex, especially in newer model vehicles, so if either of these issues occur, please bring your car into Boise Muffler Auto Repair and we’ll find and fix the issue for you.
Parasitic drains on your battery
Cars can have vampires. It sounds implausible, but nonetheless, there are things that can literally drain the life out of your car battery. When your car is turned off, there are small things that draw off of the battery. The clock, computer, security systems, or even your cell phone chargercan draw auxiliary power outlet and can drain your battery. Most of the time this is not a problem, but car owners sometimes add aftermarket components that don't shutdowm when the key is turned off. Here at Boise Muffler Auto Repair, we can sus out what is causing electrical problems and provide you with recommendations and solutions.
We're Here to Help!
The life of your car depends on your car battery and electrical systems running smoothly. You need gas to make the car go, but without a well functioning battery and all of the systems associated with it, you will be as stuck as if you ran out of gas. So, check on your battery often and if you happen to run into any of the issues mentioned above, please keep Boise Muffler Auto Repair in mind as the place you go to help you solve it.