A car battery is a crucial component of the car that acts as the heart of any vehicle because it gives the starting power to the car. Therefore, it is essential to have a fully charged battery for your vehicle. Apart from the provision of starting regime, the car battery also powers all the electrical components in the car. These electrical components include the lights, power windows, air conditioner, etc.
The lifespan of the car battery is affected by external conditions such as weather and driving habits. The electrical system of your car may experience some problems over time. For example, the air conditioning system and the power windows may fail to function efficiently. Luckily, the article discusses the causes of the electrical problems in the car and how to detect a bad car battery.
Can a bad car battery cause electrical problems?
A lousy car battery creates problems for your car. The battery indirectly affects the electrical components of the vehicle. However, it will directly affect the vehicle. The lousy car battery causes electrical problems because the battery functions as the power reserve in the car battery.
The car battery supplies power to the electrical motor, which in turn will start the car engine. The engine of the car cannot begin without the provision of energy, which is the battery. If your car battery is faulty, the obvious and the most common problem you will notice is difficult in starting the car.
In addition to that, you will also face problems with the other electrical components of the car, such as the car headlights, power windows, and the power seats, since the battery supplies the power used by these parts.
Detecting a bad car battery
When you own a car, it is essential to know the different signs that indicate a bad car battery to know when to replace it. The following are some of the most common indicators.
1. Car starting problems
When you have problems starting the car, it means that the ignition system isn’t working. Therefore, the battery has not supplied the power to the ignition system, and so the electric motor cannot start. Again when there is no cracking sound when starting the car, it shows that the car battery needs to be checked.
2. Dimmed car batteries
Dimming lights of the car show that there is something wrong with the car battery. The lights use the power supplied by the car battery, so when they are continuously dim, it shows that your battery is in bad condition even when switched to the hyper beam mode.
3. Problems with the power parts
When the car battery is bad, all the car parts that use power to function will experience problems such as slow functioning or failure to function. Such parts include:
- The power windows
- The power seats
- The windshield wipers, etc.
4. Failure of the warning lights
When the warning lights are not functioning, it is essential to check the battery’s condition since it continuously powers them. Such warning lights include the following;
- Seat belt light
- Door lock signal
- Airbag light
To ensure that the problem is in your battery, get a load test on your battery. To do the load test, you are required to charge the battery fully. If the battery is too old, it may need replacement so that it has been in use for more than three years.
The battery vs the alternator causing the electrical problem in a car
The primary purpose of the battery in the car is to supply power for the starting of the vehicle. When the car starts and the car engine runs, the current runs through the alternator. The function of the alternator is to supply the power to the engine for the engine to run.
Sometimes, the car’s electrically powered components can have the problem due to the failing alternator but not the car battery. The alternator recharges the battery for the next restart. So in case, the car fails to start, it shows that the battery is faulty or has poorly been charged. The failure of the battery to supply the power to the system when you have already restarted the car could be because of a bad alternator.
Ways of determining a bad alternator
If you want to know that the problem is in your alternator, look for the signs below in your car.
- a) The car engine will start and stop immediately. The immediate death of the battery shows that the alternator is not charging the battery.
- b) The headlights will have unsteady brightness. For example, when your car is moving at a very high speed, the brightness of the headlights increases, and when the car speed is lowered, the brightness decreases. The change shows that the alternator is faulty.
- c) When there are sounds when starting the car. The unusual sounds like growl-like noises produced when the vehicle is beginning to show that the alternator has a defect.
- d) The alternator may also be overheating. It is the most common sign of a bad alternator, and it shows that the alternator may need to be replaced immediately.
- e) Another sign of a bad alternator is seen when the car has difficulties in starting. Try to change the car battery and see if the engine starts using the jump start technique. When the vehicle starts, use the multimeter to read the battery voltage. If the alternator is good, a voltage of 14v is displayed.
Other causes of electrical problems in a car and how to fix them
The alternator and the battery are the major causes of electrical problems in a car. However, there are other reasons why you may get electrical issues in the vehicle that are cheaper than replacing the alternator and the battery.
If the electrical problem is not associated with the battery or the alternator, the possible cause is the starter. Ensure that you take it to be checked and replace it when necessary.
- Poor ground connection
When the ground wire is broken, you may experience many electrical problems since the wire connects the car terminal to the chassis. Ensure that the ground connection in your car is good and, if not, replace it.
- Bad or loose battery connections
The battery connectors are the most common problem for electrical failure. The connector is the one responsible for the transmission of the power. Therefore when the connectors are not tightened well, there might be a failure of the electrical. When the connector cable is damaged, it could be why the car is experiencing electrical problems.
To troubleshoot this, ensure that you fix and tighten all the connectors well. Again, ensure that you replace all the damaged connector cables.
- Cheaper solutions
When you experience such a problem, visit a professional mechanic to check everything for you. This solution will save you a lot of time and resources as well.
Ensure that the car tank is permanently filled. The filling of the tank ensures that the amount of condensation in the tank is reduced, which might cause problems to the car.
When the battery is not well taken care of, it can cause many problems in the car. According to this article, it is now clear that most electrical problems are caused by faulty batteries because it powers all the electrical components. It is vital to maintain the battery to avoid such risks.
When any of the electrical components of the battery is faulty, it causes a lot of negative impacts to the car. For this reason, ensure that you do a regular service to the vehicle as you take care of the battery. It is always important to seek help from a professional mechanic when you cannot fix the electrical problem in your car.