Often when a car doesn't start, the first thing most people think of is the battery. They might be right, or they might be close. A vehicle's electrical system consists of the battery, the starter, and the alternator, and if any one of those has an issue, it could cause your car not to start. While in newer vehicles these problems are less common, they can be a bit trickier to diagnose which is why it's important to bring your car to a mechanic like Big Jim's.
The main areas in your electrical system you might experience problems are:
If your vehicle isn't starting and won't even try to turn over when you turn the key, it's possible you're having a battery problem. Eventually, batteries wear out, so it's not uncommon to have to replace them. Corrosion on the cables connecting the battery to your vehicle can also reduce battery life, as well as reduce the power transfer from the battery. If it's a battery issue you're having, we can easily get you back in business!
If your dash lights are on and you hear several clicks as you turn the key, but the car won't start, it might be your starter. Although there are mechanical components that can be fixed in the starter, it's best to just replace it and avoid problems that might arise with it again in the future. At Big Jim's, we'll help you determine whether your starter is the cause of your problem or something else, and we'll get you fixed up and back on the road.
If your battery light comes on, often that's your vehicle telling you the alternator is going bad. The alternator takes power created while the vehicle is in motion and converts it into electricity to charge the battery. Without a properly functioning alternator, your battery will likely die, and your vehicle won't start. The alternator could fail due to a broken serpentine belt which drives it. Whatever the trouble, we'll get to the bottom of it and get your car back in working order.
If certain electrical elements of your vehicle aren't working, maybe your brake lights aren't working, and you've changed the bulbs, or the radio just stopped – this could be a specific fuse needs replacing. A fusible link could also cause some of those parts to function slowly or at a reduced level. Although the voltage regulator might also be the trouble. This part, as its name suggests, regulates the amount of voltage that the alternator sends to the battery.
As you can see, the electrical system is complicated, like many other systems in your vehicle. All the more reason you can have peace of mind bringing your car or truck to an experienced mechanic you can trust, like Big Jim's! If you're having electrical system issues, get a jump and head straight to our shop. Or if you can't get it started, give us a call, and we'll arrange for a tow. You can trust we'll treat your problem like it's our own, and get you back on the road.