Imagine you are being chased by zombies through the abandoned streets of L.A. in the aftermath of an outbreak (Yes, it could happen). You run to your car, jump in, put the key into the ignition, and no response. The battery is completely dead and does nothing to start the car. If you had just taken a few steps to check the battery and the charging system, you would not have been eaten by zombies or something more common that might happen if you can’t start your car.
In a car, the battery is kept charged by a device called the alternator. In addition to charging your car, it also runs your electrical system. The alternator uses a system of belts and gears to make use of the engine to power itself and the battery. The alternator is a reliable device it is also a device that obeys Murphy’s Law: whatever can go wrong will go wrong.
There are two types of charging failures defined by the auto-sages: overcharging and undercharging or disabled charging. Overcharging happens when the alternator and its regulator cause the charging system to short circuit because of too much energy being put into the battery. Disable charging can happen if the battery just fails or if the belt keeping the battery in place is loose or has grime.
One way to test the viability of the battery and the charge system is to use a device to check how much charge is in the battery and the input into the alternator. A visual check would also allow you to detect potential problems.
Luckily for the layman, at Belhaven Tire and Auto our highly trained technicians have all the tools and knowledge necessary to check the battery and the alternator. Just leave your car with us and we will take care of it and you can know for certain whether it is charging properly.