electrical system powers everything from the ignition and fuel systems to
accessories such as your radio, headlights, fog lights and wipers. The electrical
system is, in turn, powered by the engine. The following is a brief
overview of the electrical system that makes transportation possible:
When your car's engine is
off, the battery provides the required power to the rest of the system,
as well as during start-up (cranking). It also supplements the power
from the charging system during periods of high demand. Composed of a
series of lead plates submerged in a 35% sulfuric acid/65% water
solution, your 12-volt battery houses a chemical reaction that releases
electrons through conductors, producing electricity which is then
channeled into your vehicle's electrical system.
charging system is the life force of your vehicle's electrical system, It consists of three main components: the belt-driven
alternator, various electrical circuits, and a voltage regulator. The
alternator supplies power to the electrical system and recharges the
battery after your car has started. Just like it sounds, the voltage
regulator controls the voltage, keeping it within the operating range of
the electrical system.
This system consumes more
electrical power than any other component in your car. The starting system
consists of three components which work in tandem: the ignition switch,
the starter relay or solenoid, and the starter motor. The ignition
switch controls the starter solenoid, which activates the starter motor.
The starter motor then turns the engine until your car starts.
Here's how it works:
Turning the ignition causes a small amount of current to pass through
the starter relay, causing a stronger current to flow through the
battery cables and into the starter motor. The starter motor cranks
the engine, forcing the piston to create enough suction that draws a
fuel and air mixture into the cylinder. The ignition system creates a
spark that ignites the mixture and your engine starts.