Batteries and Charging Systems

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Whatever the problem or situation, no need to worry . The certified mechanics in Murrieta at American Auto Care will find out what is wrong and fix it. We will:

Check your battery and it’s ability to hold a charge

Inspect your charging system

Check the alternator

Inspect wiring, terminals and all connectors

Check The ECU

To understand what could be happening, let’s look at your vehicle’s charging system in more detail.  

The charging system keeps a charge in your battery and provides electrical energy for the radio, lights and other features while the car is running. It also supplies energy to many of your accessories when the car is not running as well.  Today, in most newer cars, the charging system consists of the:

  • Alternator. The alternator creates electrical power to run accessories and recharge the battery. It turns mechanical energy from the car’s crankshaft into electrical energy.
  • Battery. The battery is a reservoir of electrical power. Its biggest job is to crank the engine to start the car. The battery also supplies power to the accessories when the engine isn’t running.
  • ECU – electronic control unit. The computer (or in older cars, the regulator) acts as a “traffic cop” to control the alternator’s output. It senses when the battery needs charging or when the demand for electricity changes.
  • Wiring.

If something is not right with the charging system, you’ll see a warning light. The warning light may be labeled “Gen”, “Bat” or “Alt”. If this warning lamp lights up while the engine is running, it means that there is a problem in the charging system, usually that the battery has gone bad or the alternator has stopped working.

Sometimes if your car or truck won’t start, you have a bad battery, one that can’t hold a charge. Sometimes it means you left a light or other accessory on, and it drained the battery. And sometimes the problem is really that the alternator isn’t filling it up with new energy.

Common Sources of Electrical Problems:

The Battery

Problems occur when the battery is damaged or too old and can no longer hold a charge. Batteries need to replaced every 4 years. Other times, it could be due to a faulty component in your car or it could be as simple as accidentally leaving on your headlights or stereo for an extended period of time. A discharged battery can be remedied with a jump start or a battery re-charge.  

The Alternator

As the motor runs, the alternator recharges the battery. If the alternator is faulty, the battery drains and vehicle consequently will lose power. A related electrical problem is if the alternator belt is worn out or cracked. This will also cause the battery to be easily discharged.

The Electrical Wiring or Fuse

The electrical components of the car are attached to one another through wires. Fuses are also used to protect sensitive automobile components from power surges. The electrical system of your car may not run properly due to a broken wire or if there is a blown fuse.

The Spark Plugs and Spark Plug Wires

When spark plugs are not replaced regularly, the car will run rough while in idle, have sluggish acceleration or will stall or you will notice poor gas mileage. This problem is easily remedied through regular tune ups.

How To Know When It is Time to Have the Car’s Electrical System Serviced?

Have you vehicle’s electrical system checked if:

  • You turn your key and hear clicking or grinding sounds, or no sound at all
  • Interior or dashboard lights are dim and do not illuminate properly
  • The headlights dim at low speed or when idling, even though the vehicle may run well

Our expert certified technicians will quickly diagnose battery and/or charging system problem and have it fixed.  

Call us at 951-461-2507 to schedule an appointment for car repair in Murrieta, or Schedule An Appointment Online.