If there is one concept that seems to be the overriding theme of trade literature, training videos, technician forums and industry emphasis as it relates to vehicle electrical system service, it is that each component within the electrical system impacts the rest of that system. Sounds like a simple concept, but the concept manifests itself in funny ways in a vehicle. The result is that often the root source of an issue is not the expected culprit and is often physically located far from the place where the symptoms appear. With this idea in mind, below we have gathered several articles related to vehicle electrical systems and their interconnectedness.
Changing System Demands Drive the Need for New Battery Types
This article by Larry Carley, on Counterman.com, is one of the best quick explanations for the shift to AGM batteries now taking place among OEMs. As vehicle electrical demands rise, more is expected of today’s batteries than in the past. We have been touting the ability of our PRO-LOGIX battery chargers to charge all battery types, including AGM batteries, for years. We are often asked, by technicians and vehicle owners alike, why the OEMs are using these batteries? This article is a great starting point in answering that question.
Honda System Diagnosis
In this article on AutoCarePro.com, Bob Dowie provides an overview of Honda electrical system service, with an emphasis on charging and starting systems. In the charging realm, he spotlights the role that the Electric Load Detector (ELD) plays in cycling the alternator into low output or no output when there is no or low electrical system demand. He also discusses how the ELD can trip you up when attempting to measure alternator output during diagnosis. A great example of unintended consequences within the electrical system.
In this article on AutoCarePro.com, Gary Goms suggests making like Sherlock Homes and focusing on the details rather than the symptoms when faced with difficult diagnostic dilemmas. Using a problematic 1993 Subaru Legacy as his example, he shows how looking past the symptoms to find the root cause enabled him to avoid throwing the wrong parts at the problem. This is a great example of how a problem can manifest itself far from where you’d expect it.
Emphasizing the Need for a Solid Process When Battling Parasitic Drains
Parasitic drains are one of our favorite topics. They are a great example of how all components in an electrical circuit (or system) impact each other and the system in general. In all of our research into the topic of parasitic drains, the common thread that runs through discussions of successfully overcoming them is the need to have a specific approach to diagnosis and then following it each and every time. This article by Albin Moore on SearchAutoParts.com provides a detailed example of how he uses a specific process to narrow the field of potential causes and then pinpoint the specific source of the problem. It is a great primer on this pesky service issue.