How to Maintain Your Car’s Electrical System
June 18, 2012
Taking good care of your vehicle means investing sufficient time, money, and effort throughout the car’s lifetime. What most car owners realize is that a car’s beauty is never just skin-deep—the hood, the undercarriage, and the tight interior corners all have to be one hundred percent clean. You have to keep regular appointments with a reputable automobile detailer who will ensure that your car remains fully-functional and classy all the time.
Your car’s electrical system is no different from any other component of the vehicle. It requires thorough and regular cleaning in order to be in tiptop condition. But before you call in the detailing experts to take a look at your vehicle, you first have to be familiar with what makes your car tick. This way, you can do a little preventive maintenance on your own without having to spend for professional fees all the time.
Getting to Know The Electrical System
The electrical system in your car is responsible for a number of other important parts, such as the power windows and locks, defroster, headlights, radio, interior lights, clock, sunroof, and others. Only three basic components are involved in this job: the battery, the starter, and the alternator.
The battery stores the juice that powers your vehicle’s components even when the engine is off. The alternator works to produce the electricity that your car needs for its many working parts and to replenish battery charge as well. Finally, you have the starter, the single and biggest consumer of your car’s electricity and possibly the most critical electrical component. This is what jumpstarts the combustion process that allows your car to take you places.
Everyday wear and tear can obviously work against the smooth functioning of your car’s electrical system, so you do have to check in on these three main parts to ensure that they are working well.
Proper Electrical Care
Your car’s electrical system will greatly benefit from regular cleaning. The connection points for the various wires that snake underneath your hood are the likeliest places for dirt and rust buildup. Moreover, they should also be tightly mounted on the appropriate brackets to ensure the continuous flow of electricity. Otherwise, damaging vibrations can harm the other components and slow down your car engine.
While you’re already tinkering with the electrical components, you should also check the belt drive for correct tension. Look for cracks, dryness or glazing along the belt’s surface and replace it immediately if you see these warning signs. After replacement, check the new belt for tension regularly as well. You can refer to the manufacturer’s details to determine the proper tension requirements.
Your car’s driveability will remain at its peak if you ensure that it is clean inside and out. However, even with regular car cleaning habits, you should still strive to prevent most car problems by treating your vehicle with great care.
For example, starting the engine with the major components turned off, (high-powered stereo, blower motor, and AC compressor) can go a long way towards easing the load on your engine starter. For major electrical problems, it’s still best to contact a detailing expert to help you out.