Batteries / Electrical
The electrical system in your vehicle is complicated and starts with the battery and alternator. The alternator charges the battery while the vehicle is running. The battery provides initial power to start the vehicle. In some vehicles, if the battery is not working at its full potential, you might notice weird things, such as lights dimming and getting brighter, the charging gauge moving, and even poor performance.
In older vehicles, once you started the vehicle, you could disconnect the battery and the vehicle would stay running. That is no longer true in many of the newer vehicles because the electronics have changed. Additionally, newer vehicles have more accessories and systems that rely on the power from the battery.
If you notice that your battery isn’t up to par or that you seem to have an electrical problem, an electrical mechanic at Repair One can help pinpoint the problem. Whether you choose to visit our auto repair shop in The Woodlands, Tx. or Spring/Klein, Tx., you’ll find ASE Certified auto technicians who can diagnose the problem and get you back on the road.
Batteries and Electrical
Because a vehicle’s battery is such an integral part of the electrical system, it can be hard to tell if the battery is failing or the alternator is failing. If the alternator fails, it won’t charge the battery, and the electrical components that use the battery for power won’t work correctly.
A battery has two measurements: voltage and amperage. Your vehicle’s battery might have the proper voltage but without the amperage backing it up, those items that need the amperage, such as the starter, will not work. You can check the battery all day and find 14.5 volts, but if it doesn’t have the amperage, it’s not going to provide enough power.
How to Check for Amperage
If you have a voltmeter, check the battery for voltage. With the vehicle off, it should have about 12 to 12.5 volts. Leave the voltmeter hooked up. Have someone start the vehicle while you watch the voltmeter. The starter uses amps to turn over. If the voltmeter drops below 10 to 10.5 volts while the starter engages, your battery is most likely not putting out the amps.
However, if the alternator is not charging the battery, amperage will drop below 10 when you try to start the vehicle. If you can get the vehicle started, let it run. If the voltage doesn’t improve after about 20 minutes, you most likely need an alternator. If either fully fail, there is a chance that your vehicle will not continue running.
If the alternator has not been putting out enough voltage to properly charge the battery for some time, the risk of damaging the battery is higher. Our electrical auto technicians at Repair One have the tools to properly diagnose the battery and the alternator so you don’t have to buy both when you need one.
Contact Repair One
If you suspect that your battery or alternator is not working properly, contact Repair One or fill out our online form to set an appointment for us to diagnose the problem with the battery and electrical system and to get you back on the road.