With over 390,000 new and used car electrical system parts ready to be shipped from Japan and Korea, you will have no problem finding your ideal replacements at BE FORWARD. Our list of electrical components comprises mainly of offerings from Japanese manufacturers like Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Suzuki, Daihatsu, Subaru, and Mitsubishi, however we also carry parts for the most popular international car brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, Hyundai, and more.
Your car's electrical system not only powers all the electrical parts, but starts your car as well. If the electrical system is not in good working condition, all the electrical features and even the engine may become unusable. Keep reading to learn more about your car's electrical system, so you can get the most out of it and know what to look for if you suspect any issues.
Your Car's Electrical System
The electrical system is made up of three main parts, which work together to produce the power demanded by your car — they are the battery, the starter, and the alternator.
The battery stores electrical energy to operate the starter, as well as to keep certain parts like the clock and radio running while the engine is turned off. The battery additionally supplies the necessary power for the ignition and fuel injection parts. Because it is not designed to supply power for long, it can quickly run out of power.
The starter is powered by the battery and is needed to get the engine running. It contains a small gear that is connected to the engine's flywheel, delivering power to it, and this, in turn, starts the engine. Needless to say, your car will not be able to start unless that starter is functioning properly.
Once your car's engine is running, it is the alternator that keeps the engine and all other electrical components powered. Unlike the starter, which converts electrical energy into mechanical energy, the alternator converts mechanical energy into electricity with the help of a drive belt that connects the engine to the pulley of the alternator.
What Does the Electrical System Power?
Stripped down to its bare necessities, a car needs an electrical system to run. However, with new convenient features that require electricity continuously being added with each new generation of cars, the reliance on the electrical system is ever-increasing.
Ignition coils are a part of the ignition system in internal combustion engine cars that convert electrical energy from the battery into a high voltage that is then emitted as a pulse to the spark plug. The spark plug then produces the spark necessary to ignite the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber.
When it starts to rain, the windshield wiper system is essential for safe driving. This is made up of the motor that moves the wipers, a reservoir tank that stores water or windshield wiper fluid, and a combination switch that is used to adjust the wiper speed.
Power Windows and Locks
Whereas windows and locks once had to be manually operated, they now come automated in most cars. Rarely will there be a need to operate these manually nowadays, unless a problem with the electrical system arises.
With all electrical systems comes the risk of overloading and short circuits. Protecting these and all other electrical parts from shorts is the fuse box, which is powered by the battery and contains fuses, relays, and diodes. One can be found near the engine protecting the engine's electrical components, and another is located near the dashboard in service of cabin parts like the interior lights, power windows, and infotainment system.
Common Car Electrical Issues
A variety of electrical issues can plague your car. These can range from minor inconveniences, such as a certain part not working in isolation, to major ones where the car cannot be started or becomes inoperable. Here are a few of the more common ones.
Car Does Not Start Easily
Remember that your car relies on the battery, starter, and alternator to get it going. If any of these are not working as intended, your car might be unable to crank start and instead begin emitting clicking or grinding noises as you turn the key or push the start button.
Sluggish or inconsistent cranking might point toward a bad battery. However, there might be issues that lie with connections as well. If you are able to jumpstart the engine, it is likely that the battery is the problem.
You may have a malfunctioning alternator if you experience difficulty starting your car or have problems with lighting and the stereo. This issue can also cause your car to stall after starting because the faulty alternator is not able to properly charge the battery.
Lights Don't Work Properly
Low voltage and improper charging can lead to malfunctioning lights. Headlights and interior lights might appear dimmer than usual or start flickering, compromising visibility and your safety on the roads. A failing battery, bad connections, or a faulty alternator belt could be the cause of this issue.
Fuses blow to prevent an overload of the electrical system. If they are continuously blowing, get your electrical system checked by a qualified mechanic.
Stop driving immediately when you start smelling something strange. If these smells are paired with other symptoms listed above, your electrical system is probably malfunctioning and needs to be checked as soon as possible.
How to Maintain Your Car's Electrical System
Proper electrical system maintenance takes some elbow grease and knowledge. One easy step you can do is to preemptively replace your car's battery once you have had it for four to five years. Doing so can reduce the likelihood of your car suddenly failing on you.
Another measure you can perform is to regularly check and clean the battery and battery cables with a mixture of baking soda and water to prevent buildup.
Getting an Electrical Diagnostic
If you are unsure of what to look for when you suspect electrical system problems with your car, take it to a trusted automobile professional for a diagnostic. You will be informed of what the exact issue is and whether anything needs to be repaired or replaced. This can reduce the likelihood of purchasing incorrect parts, saving you time and money. Once you have identified the parts you need, make your purchase here at BE FORWARD to ensure you get great prices on well-maintained replacements.