An integrated part of any vehicle, the automobile electrical system has definitely made driving a lot more easier over the decades. Frequent innovations in electrical system has helped us in a comfortable and easy drive. But friends, no coin comes with a single side. If there are advantages, there are problems or hassles that accompany them. Very often, you face problems while starting up your car and notice other problems with the electrical system. Are you aware of the problems that actually affect your electrical system. Some of the hassles that you face with your vehicle’s electrical system are:
Common Automobile Electrical System Problems Are :
Car’s Battery Is Dead – This is the most common problem. Your car’s battery might be dead, thus inviting troubles for your vehicle.
No Power Stored in the Battery – This is possible that your car’s battery does not have ample power so that it can spin the engine.
Alternator is Not Working – At times, a damaged alternator might be the cause for the hassle. Such an alternator will not charge the battery.
Problem with Starter or Solenoid – These bad auto parts will affect the functioning of a braking system.
Battery Cables Might Be The Problem – A loose cable might be the root of the problem.
Electrical Fuses – If there are any damaged electrical fuse or loose wire, it might affect the smooth functioning of electrical system.
Cracks In Alternator Belt – Tension as well as crack in the alternator belt causes trouble.
The electric systems used by the automobiles are very complex currently, which includes more than eighty electronic control units. The past experiences show that forty percent of the electric system malfunction can not define the cause. The owners of cars will pay so much to repair the car for many times, because the components must be changed for many times until the malfunction is solved.
In order to overcome the above situations, the research project of the DIANA is developed by some automotive companies. They try to improve the analysis and diagnosis of the electronic control unit through every mean. Companies joined together to improve the accuracy of malfunction detection before the year of 2013. This project has gain the support of some research institute and colleges. The DIANA is the acronym of the German words, which means the semiconductor components and system diagnosis for the continually and incidental malfunction. This project is the part of German high technology strategy and information and communication technology 2020 plan which will gain the finical sport of the German government and research department. Automobile and transportation are scheduled to be the two focal points of the IKT 2020 plan, in order to improve the reliability and durability of the automotive device dramatically.
The research of the DIANA lays the foundations for detecting the malfunction of the electric device. For the achievement of the goal, the quality control measures of semiconductor industries are applied by the automotive industry systematic. The related information of malfunction can be searched in that way and to transmit it to the high class components of electronic control units. Then the electronic control unit diagnoses the fault with the collected operational data, providing the machinist a detailed diagnosis report.
The achievements of the research project will be applied for the automotive electric products. It is predicted that the achievements will help to improve the reliability, reduce the times of repair.
For any electrical component to work properly, it must receive the correct current flow. Low current to a light bulb, for example, makes the light dim. Low current to a compressor clutch coil reduces the magnetic field and may allow the clutch to slip or not engage at all. For proper current flow to exist, the circuit must have the correct source voltage applied, and be free of any “unwanted” resistance in the circuit. And the best way to test this is to measure voltage drop with the circuit “working”.
Here are the steps to take to perform a voltage drop test:
1. Connect your DVOM negative lead to the battery’s negative post.
2. Connect your DVOM positive lead to the battery’s positive post and measure its voltage. Record this reading.
3. Connect your DVOM positive lead to the positive side of the load being tested, as close to the load as possible.
4. Operate the circuit, and record your measurement.
5. Connect your DVOM positive lead to the negative side of the load being tested, as close to the load as possible.
6. Operate the circuit and record your measurement.
Let’s take a closer look at these steps. First, we want to test the integrity of the ENTIRE circuit so placing your test leads at the battery is a must. You can make an extension lead for your DVOM so you can always connect to the battery ground terminal with your negative meter lead. Second, it is important to know the source voltage available. If the battery is weak to start with, your circuit is already working with a handicap. Even better is to measure source voltage with the engine running, and use that as your baseline.
In the third step, you are making sure all that source voltage is arriving at its ultimate destination…the load. Getting as close to the load as possible insures you are testing the entire path. On the positive side of the load, you should read within 0.50 volts of your source voltage, i.e. if you started with 14.56 volts you should read no less than 14.06 volts. This applies to most basic circuits. If you are diagnosing a control module related circuit, you may want to look for even less than that.
In step #5, you are looking for unwanted guests robbing your load downstream. Remember, all the voltage potential should have been used by the load. If you get a voltage reading of 0.50v or more here, there is someone else at home stealing potential from the primary component. This unwanted source may be ultimately found way “downstream” of the load, maybe even at the battery connection itself. Even so, it will still cause the voltage reading at the load to be over 0.50v. This is due to the available voltage being split proportionally between the two, and tends to throw techs new to voltage drop testing off. Remember, current flow is instantaneous throughout the circuit. Again, in the case of module related circuits, a little less is better. Stay as close to the load as you can to make sure you check the entire ground path.
Remember, current flow is only going to happen with the circuit turned on and working. Don’t forget to operate the circuit when taking your measurements.
My Reading Is Out Of Range. Now What?
Experience is a guide here, as in all things. Typically, unwanted resistances are the result of poor grounds or poor connections, either in a harness connector or switch contact, and will result in an obvious, out of range measurement. To find the little unwanted guest, all you have to do is “backtrack” from your load back to the battery. Here, you will need to spend some time with a schematic for the circuit you are working on and use a little common sense. For example, if there are parallel branches on the circuit, are all branches affected? If so, focus on that section of wiring common to all. If not, focus on that section that is unique to the component you are diagnosing. Move back towards the battery at logical points (harness connections, switch contacts, splice points, etc.) until your DVOM reading is back to normal. That means you passed the unwanted guest and all you have left to do is narrow the search between your last two test points.
Some voltage measurement on the ground side of a working load is normal. If no ground exists at all, you will measure source voltage on both sides of the load. If the ground side measures 0.0 volts on the money, and the component is receiving correct source voltage, then the load likely has an internal open.
What if both sides of the load test just fine, but it still doesn’t work right? If you tested right at the load, there is only one area left untested…the load itself. In this case, you most likely have a failed component. A good example of this is a solenoid that is failed mechanically, not electrically.
Remember, too, to not take shortcuts in your initial tests. It is vitally important that you test the entire path the current is taking from and back to the battery. A common mistake is to use a chassis ground under the dash when testing inside the car. But don’t forget, that chassis ground point still has to make it back to the battery, typically through a few more connections, before the ground path is complete. That inoperative HVAC module could be simply a bad connection at the bulkhead connector or firewall ground eyelet, and you’ll miss it if you cut corners. Done properly, a voltage drop test will quickly isolate which side of the circuit has the problem, and save you diagnostic time in the process.
For many people buying a car is one of the biggest purchases they will ever make, second only to the family home. If you have parted with some well earned cash to invest in a motor vehicle then you will want to make sure that it is well maintained to ensure your safety, the safety of others and the longevity of your automobile. While many people are conscious of the importance of regular servicing in order to keep the engine running smoothly they may not be aware of the significance of a cars electrical system. There are many automotive electrical supplies required to run a vehicle efficiently and gaining an insight into these components will place you in a better position to maintain and improve your motor vehicle.
Sometimes when people buy a car, their budget may not be able to accommodate the many extra features available at the time of the initial purchase and while it is often recommended that extras are fitted to a vehicle at the time of manufacture, for many these may not be an option. Others may enjoy the challenge of buying an older car and restoring it to better than its original state. Looking into the range of automotive electrical supplies available for your vehicle may allow you to make ongoing improvements to your car as your budget allows.
One of the best places to begin looking into the range of products available for your cars electrical system is the internet. Here you will have access to manufacturers and suppliers of these parts and will gain a good insight into what is available, their function and how they can improve your vehicle. From here you can start planning how you can enhance your vehicle in order to maximise its safety and performance.
When dealing with a car’s electronics it is of great importance that such work carried out is done by a mechanic who is qualified in this field. Just as you would not entrust your home’s electrics to anyone but a fully licensed electrician you should never carry out automotive electrical work yourself or contract anyone other than a certified auto electrician to do the work for you. Auto electricians are specialised in the area of vehicle electronics and have a thorough knowledge of the automotive electrical supplies required for a particular job and have access to suppliers of these parts. In addition to this, if you get work done on your cars electrical system by a specialist in this area and something goes wrong you will be able to take advantage of any warranties that may apply to these parts which would otherwise be void if they are not fitted by an approved mechanic.
There are many ways you can improve your cars performance and if you are passionate about your vehicle then you may wish to look into the range of automotive electrical products available. You may well be surprised by how much you can actually enhance your automobile.