When you take a journey on foot, your first step is most important. And this first step of your car journey is provided by its electrical system. If you want a trouble-free start-up and an uninterrupted journey, it is pertinent that you know the basics of your automotive electrical system. The battery is working as the ‘heart’ of your car; the other two major components are starter and alternator.
The battery gives the impetus to the starter, and the alternator provides the energy to the starter. Your battery provides current to the ignition and the fuel system which in turn creates the combustion required for your engine to function.
After getting a small amount from the battery, the starter motor rotates the flywheel, makes the crankshaft to turn and starts a movement of the piston of your engine. During the running of your engine, the alternator keeps the battery charged.
Besides the basic functionality of the electrical component, you should be aware of the other major components which are as below.
An armature is a rotating device housed in a dynamo. It is made by winding copper wires around a core of iron. It vibrates when the electromotive force is produced.
The basic components of a battery are primary and secondary cells. They convert the chemical energy into mechanical energy. Your car uses a rechargeable battery which initiates with a voltage of 1.5 volts and generates from 500 to 1000 amps. Other components of the battery include boxes, terminals, cable, trays, plates, control systems, ground straps and voltage regulators.
3. Ignition System
The ignition system of your car burns a mixture of fuel and air inside the engine. The system produces enough voltage to create a sparkling to burn this mixture. Moreover, it controls the sparking time. From a source of 12 volts, the system produces a voltage that may vary from 20, 000 to 50,000 volts. The major ancillary components used in the system are magneto ignition distributor, coil wires, timing controllers, switch, coils, and box.
4. Starting System
It initiates the engine of your car. The first thing you do to start your car is to put your ignition key into the ignition switch. By doing this, you are making the current to pass through the battery cables to the motor of the starter. Then your engine starts and makes the piston to move down, thereby creating suction to draw air and making a mixture of fuel and air. This fuel mixture burns and the engine starts.
5. Charging System
It controls and regulates the charge in the battery of your car and generates voltage varying from 13.5 to 14.4 volts, while the engine is working. This current enables the operation of lights, music system, engine electrical system, and components. Its chief components include alternator, generator, alternator fans and alternator bearing.
6. Computer Chips
They are used for storing the computer programs related to management of various functions of your car engine. You can get feedback on the utilization of fuel if use Oxygen sensor which is a kind of computer chip. Other kinds of chips are sensor ring and Engine Management System (EMS), performance monitors, speedometer calibrators, power train control modules, shift improvers, and performance chips.
7. The Wiring System
This includes various electrical fuses and blocks, flexible wires, connectors. These are used for interconnecting various sources of electrical devices. Besides bearing the load of mechanical energy, the wiring system bears the responsibility of transmitting electrical energy and communication signals.
With the advancement of automotive technology, the electrical system of cars is becoming more and more complicated. If you have a Honda Civic Car, you should be aware of the problems associated with Honda Civic electrical system and how to deal with them.
- Honda Battery: It self-starts your car and ensures functionalities of electrical equipment like lights, horn, indicators, Honda Civic battery is 12 volts and has six cells, stacked with lead plates. Sometimes, by reacting with the electrolytes, the lead plates may produce harmful gases and may even cause an explosion. There are occasions when you find the battery terminals dead. To set it right, you need to clean the corrosion off or tighten the terminals. You can then check its voltage by a voltmeter, and if it is between 10 to 12 volts, your battery is good.
- Honda Alternator: It produces Alternating Current (AC) and maintains the charge of the storage battery. It is belt-driven from the engine. It also maintains the voltage required by the system, by using the voltage regulators in your car. For identifying any problem in the alternator, you have to install an operational warning light and keep the ignition switch “on.”
If your engine does not start, check this warning lightly. If you find the alternator not starting, you should eject the plug from the alternator and ground the terminating wire.
There are occasions when you may find your Honda Civic car, turning idle while heating to high temperatures for long timings. The reason may be that the electrical resistance of the alternators has reduced the charging capacity of the alternator.
8. Fusible Link
It is a higher capacity connector and helps in protecting the directly wired accessories. If you find it failing gradually or suddenly, you need to check the odd behavior of accessories that have been plugged into the power socket. You may also notice a pause before the turning of the starter. If the fusible link is triggered, the electrical system will show as being dead. You should then check all the connections before installing a new one.
9. Faulty Switch
If you find the switch failing, test it in all possible positions to confirm if there is any loose connection. You should also check the possibility of any shorts.
You can’t think of traveling by your car without entertainment, and the audio system of your car is the chief source. You should, therefore, have a good understanding of the multiple components of car audio system. The major components of a car audio systems are i) the Radio or the Head Unit which generates the audio signal and controls the entire system, ii) Amplifier increases the strength of the audio signals and iii) Speakers produce the sound that you listen to.
10. Head Unit
A car audio system is comprised of electronic components such as a radio tuner, preamp, CD player. These are housed in a head unit. It controls the overall volume of the system and different audio sources. Because of the latest development in technology, you can receive satellite radio from the subscription services. Your head unit can control media players like iPod and can navigate the content of a USB flash drive, connected to the stereo system.
Amplification is done in two stages that are handled by a preamp and a power amplifier. The former collects data from a radio, CD player or other audio sources and boosts the audio signal for feeding to the power amplifier which boosts it further.
Speakers receive the amplified electrical signals and convert them into mechanical energy which in turn creates vibration in the air by moving the cone of the speaker, back and forth.
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