Electrical System Analysis

Your vehicle’s electrical system is comprised of two major systems; a charging system and a starting system. A battery that goes bad can be the result of over charging, electrical drain as a result of a short or under charging as a result of a bad drive belt, voltage regulator or alternator.

The charging system keeps the battery from going dead as the demand for more voltage is required as a result of accessory load. The charging system is comprised of an alternator, voltage regulator and the belt that drives the alternator. The steady supply of voltage is crucial to the operation of today’s vehicles due to the increased use of highly sophisticated electronics. The lack of a steady supply of voltage can result in computer malfunctions (engine stalling or poor performance, check engine light to come on, computerized climate control, ride control and ABS brake control to malfunction, etc) due to lack of or fluctuation in voltage. A charging system that overcharges the battery and vehicles’ electrical system can cause serious damage to highly sensitive electronics.

Your starting system is comprised of a starter motor, starter solenoid, starter relay, neutral safety switch and ignition switch. A vehicle that doesn’t crank may or may not totally be caused by the starter. Your starting system is less complex but just as important. The battery must have enough capacity to turn the starter and overcome the resistance in the engine. Checking the charging system is therefore necessary.

Electrical System Analysis includes:

  • Inspect battery connections
  • Load test battery
  • Inspect alternator belt and adjust as required
  • Perform alternator output test
  • Perform starter draw test