62 car electrical system

car electrical system


By Vukasin Herbez on 2018-07-06 16:51:23

Some automotive historians claim that the car is the greatest contraption ever invented by men. It combines almost all of mankind‘s achievements from metallurgy to electronics, and it is all under one body. However, for a car to function, you need electricity and without it, all mechanical parts would stand still. If we wanted to use our signature analogies with the human body, the car‘s electric system would be nerves running through the car connecting components and transmitting important information. That is why we will explain to you the basics of a car´s electrical system and the difference between car electrics and electronic devices.

1. Car battery, starter and alternator

Three basic components of car‘s electric system are a car battery, starter motor, and alternator. When you turn your key, the car battery sends electrical impulses to the starter motor which is bolted onto the engine block. The starter motor will turn the crankshaft and cylinders while the intake system delivers the fresh mixture of air and fuel which is then ignited by the spark plugs. This is how the car is started. A car battery powers the fuel pump and spark plugs so electricity is of utmost importance in starting the vehicle and making it run.

The alternator is a very important part of the car‘s electrical system which transforms kinetic energy into electric energy and recharges the car´s battery. Even if you have a brand new car battery under your bonnet, it wouldn´t last long if it wasn´t for alternator since the car battery itself is not enough to constantly power all the car‘s components.

Car electric system is also responsible for loads of other processes in and around the vehicle. Headlights, stoplights, turn signals, interior, and dashboard light, and power windows are all using electric power provided by the battery and alternator. This is why it is extremely important to pay attention to your car‘s electric system and always be sure that your battery, starter, and alternator are up to the task. We have already explained all common car battery problems and how to recharge it or jump start it in our previous articles.

2. Car electronics

People often confuse car electric system and car electronics and they are two totally different things. Car electric system is used for powering the engine‘s components and lights but car electronic system is more advanced. The advancements in computers in the last few decades have influenced the car industry greatly and found its way under the bonnet of every modern vehicle. The car electronic could be roughly concentrated in two groups safety systems and infotainment systems. There are numerous electronic safety systems in every modern car, from ABS and ESP stability systems to latest in pre-sense devices which can detect problems and pay attention to other cars on the road. Also, that 7-inch display with Wi-Fi connection, USB outlet, and Android or Apple Car Play interface is a prime example of infotainment electronic systems. Even the controversial autonomous driving systems are all high tech electronic devices which are powered by the car battery and your car´s simple but immensely important electrical system.


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