Faults in the vehicle’s electrical system

The list of faults in the electrical equipment of the car is quite wide. Conventionally, they can be divided into malfunctions of current sources and malfunctions of current consumers. In this article, the faults of current sources are considered and how to dispose of car license plates.


As you know, the current sources in the car are the battery and the alternator. A malfunction in each of the current sources can immobilize the car at any time. And if you do not want to return home on a “tie-up” or a tow truck, the technical condition of the battery and the generator must be paid attention.


In the car’s electrical system, the battery and the alternator work in tandem. Failure of one leads to malfunction of the other. For example, battery malfunctions result in increased charging current of the alternator. Operation of the alternator in this mode may cause the rectifier unit (diode bridge) to malfunction. On the other hand, a faulty alternator voltage regulator is accompanied by increased charging current, which, in turn, leads to systematic overcharging of the battery and “boiling out” of electrolyte.



Battery malfunctions include:


short circuit between the battery electrodes;

damage to the battery plates;

cracks in the battery housing;

oxidation of the battery terminals.


The main causes of these malfunctions are:


violation of operating rules;

the limit of service life;

manufacturing defects.


Violations of the rules of operation of batteries are:


operation with a defective alternator (leads to overcharging or discharging of the battery);

poor contact at the battery terminals (leads to oxidation and destruction of contacts);

frequent engine starts or prolonged starter operation (causes deep discharge of the battery);

poor fastening of the battery in the engine compartment (leads to mechanical damage of the battery and wires).


The battery can operate effectively for a certain time. The average battery life is 3-4 years. With intensive use, as well as operation in harsh climatic conditions, the service life is considerably reduced.


Modern batteries are available as low-maintenance and maintenance-free batteries. The maintenance level of a battery is determined by the rate at which water evaporates from the electrolyte. For a maintenance-free battery, the critical electrolyte level is reached much later than the end of its service life.


When using batteries, you have to deal with manufacturing defects. A faulty battery can be easily replaced under warranty by the retailer or the manufacturer.


The consequence of all faults is the same: the battery can no longer perform its intended function of cranking the starter motor when it is started and providing electricity to the users when it is parked. In this case it is necessary to determine whether the battery needs to be replaced or whether the power source can still be used.


When using the battery, remember that the increased discharge at sub-zero ambient temperatures can lead to freezing of the electrolyte and destruction of the battery housing.



The design of the generator is more complicated than the battery. Therefore, there are more malfunctions with this device:


wear of the current brushes;

damage of the voltage regulator;

damage of rectifier (diode bridge);

Wear of the collector (slip-rings);

Wear or destruction of the bearing;

Wear or damage to the pulley;

short circuit in the stator winding;

damage to the charging circuit wires.


The main causes of these malfunctions are:


violation of operating rules (prolonged operation under heavy load, wrong polarity when connecting the battery, weak tension of the alternator belt);

Poor quality of components;

External factors (moisture, salt, high temperature, dirt);

extreme service life.


Wear or destruction of the bearing is accompanied by increased noise during operation of the generator. Other generator faults are diagnosed by low charging current. This is indicated by a warning lamp on the instrument panel, which lights up intermittently or constantly in case of malfunctions.


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