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Starting and Charging Dilemmas: SOLVED.


In this article, the fourth in a series identifying resources related to vehicle electrical applications, we have compiled several articles that address troubleshooting and diagnosing starting/charging system issues, as well as address the opportunities for service operations in this area.

Whether it’s while reading trade magazine articles, participating in iATN and other forums, meeting technicians at trade shows or from other sources, we are amazed by the myriad of issues that can arise around starting and charging systems. The more we learn about these issues, the more we are impressed by the creativity and ingenuity required to diagnose them.

Testing Automotive Batteries and Starters
One of our go-to resources in this area is Gary Goms, a technical contributor with extensive experience. In this article from, Gary tells a tale of a trusty Pathfinder “fishing wagon” with some not-so-trusty cranking issues.  He dives deep to determine the source of the problem, looking at battery health, amperage draws and starter function.

Rotating Electric in Older Vehicles Makes For Sales Opportunities
The combination of high-mileage vehicles and high underhood temperatures creates service opportunities for today’s shops related to the repair and replacement of rotating electrical components. In this article, Larry Carley of discusses those opportunities with a focus on alternator failures, emphasizing the interrelatedness of starting/charging system components.

Ignition Coil Diagnostics
In this detailed article, again by Mr. Goms, Gary covers advances in ignition coil construction, how different generations of this component differ from each other and how each circuit works together to create the spark needed for starting. Common problems and suggestions for diagnosis are also discussed, including coil resistance measurement, testing of the coil driver, current ramping and more.

Winter Service is Coming
We end with a more general purpose article related to winter service opportunities and a call to action by Craig Truglia at In this article, Craig reminds shops to seize the day when it comes to providing comprehensive winter preparation to shop customers.





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