Your car generates power in order to be able to perform a number of functions. Fundamentally, without power, your car wont run, drive, or even start at all. There are a few places to begin to look when you notice power issues in your car. If your car won’t start, your automotive technician will likely first check to make sure your car is getting the power it needs. Often times technicians find that power issues are simply due to a dead battery; however, there are other areas of the power-generating systems and parts that can potentially fail.
In this article, we’ll talk more about your car’s charging system and what happens when it fails. We’ll go over some of the symptoms to look out for when various components of your charging system begin to fail, and we’ll also talk about what you can to do prevent such issues from occurring. Of course, the best thing to do if you’re unsure of how to care for your car’s charging system is to contact a reliable automotive specialist who can help you stay on track with maintenance tasks.
SYMPTOMS OF CHARGING SYSTEM FAILURE
The signs that your charging system is failing are just as you might expect. Since your car relies on battery power to run, or even to turn on the lights inside the cabin, when the charging system fails these functions seize to work properly. Being aware of what to look for when your charging system encounters a problem can help you fix the issue before it progresses and you’re left without a working car.
LOSS OF POWER
Of course, losing power is the number one symptom of charging system failure. You might experience problems with dim or flickering lighting inside cabin or your headlights may become dimmer too. Certainly you’ll not be able to start the car if you lose power totally.
CHARGING SYSTEM FAILURE LIGHT IN DASH
Some cars have a warning light inside the dashboard that illuminates when the charging system begins experiencing issues or complications. With each year that passes, these warning systems advance and technology supports more accurate diagnoses while reading these trouble codes. You’ll need to bring your car to a mechanic to read and clear the warning light.
A dead battery could mean a number of things, and it’s safe to assume that it’s not just the battery that’s running into problems. If a battery can’t hold a charge, then it might need to be replaced; however, it could not be receiving a charge in the first place, which will lead your technician down an alternate route of treatment.
POTENTIAL CAUSES OF CHARGING ISSUES
When diagnosing the causes of charging system failure in your car, it’s essential that your automotive technician performs a thorough differential diagnosis. Since charging system problems can be due to a number of areas that are struggling, it’s important to rule-out the causes one by one to avoid fixing or replacing the wrong part.
As your car drives, the alternator is responsible for re-charging the battery. The power the alternator translates to the battery is important in order for the battery to “hold a charge,” and if the alternator isn’t doing it’s job then the battery will eventually die.
Of course power issues can be traced back to a faulty or malfunctioning battery. It’s important to regularly check the health of the battery and keep it in good working order by using insulation kits, cleaning the terminals, and replacing it when it’s time to.
Since the charging system utilizes wiring to transfer and transmit power, it’s critical that wiring is kept in good working order. Frayed or damaged wiring is not uncommon in cases where charging system failure occurs, and it’s usually an easy problem to fix.
WHY REGULAR INSPECTIONS AND MAINTENANCE ARE IMPORTANT
Here at Autobahn Automotive, serving the areas nearby San Antonio and Longhorn, TX, we have seen many clients who experience charging system failure over the years. Our differential diagnosis process is thorough and efficient, and we aim to save our clients money by performing every task properly the first time. If you’re experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms in your European import, please contact us right away to help you restore your car back to it’s optimal performance level.