Batteries, Alternator and Starter
The battery is the heart of your vehicle’s electrical system. Due to the abundance of computers and electrical components used to operate your vehicle, any low voltage issue caused by a weak battery, weak or corroded connections or a failing charging system can cause all sorts of issues. The charging system is controlled by the vehicles alternator which uses a voltage regulator or a computer to charge the battery depending on operating conditions and load. Battery health and maintenance is more important than ever on modern vehicles. Some vehicles are even equipped with a separate computer that monitors the batteries state of health as part of the overall vehicle operating system. Because we recognize what a vital role the battery and charging systems play in your vehicle, Repair Revolution tests every vehicle’s battery and alternator complimentary when you bring your car in for any service.* If we find issues with any of these components we will provide you with pictures and notes in your digital inspection report.
The average battery life is between 3 and 5 years. If your battery requires replacement, it is important to remember that modern vehicles require more service than simply unbolting the old battery and then installing the new one in its place. At Repair Revolution our battery service includes cleaning the battery terminals and clamps, installing an anti-corrosion washer (to prevent battery gassing from causing build up on the terminals), cleaning corrosion from the battery box and most importantly in modern vehicles, performing all of the control module/computer relearn procedures to restore system memory. This includes drivability functions such as throttle control and often many body controls such as automatic window re-learn and resetting clocks etc.
The starter is connected directly to the battery with a heavy gauge wire and converts electrical energy into mechanical energy when the ignition key is turned to start position. The Bendix gear on the starter rotates on the flywheel until the combustion process in the engine has started. The most common cause of starter failure is worn contacts in the solenoid which prevent the gear from engaging. However, electrical circuit issues as well as a damaged flywheel can also cause the starter to fail. At Repair Revolution, our starting system diagnosis consists of thoroughly inspecting and testing all aspects of the starting and ignition electrical circuit as well as inspecting the mechanical components for damage.
*some vehicle batteries are located under seats or in other remote locations that require extra labor time to test. If this is the case for your vehicle we will provide an estimate for testing before performing this test.
Starting and charging system operation: https://www.virtualvehicle.com/animation_link.php?num=jo2jc8vycitx