Electrical Problem FAQ
Are you having battery or alternator problems?
Now, if you’re having battery or alternator problems, then it’s likely that every electrical component in your car is failing as well. Think about it. We’ve all come across a time when you happen to leave your lights on overnight. The next day, you’ll have to find the jumper cables and a helpful stranger just to get your car started.
As we mentioned, you may also have an issue with your alternator, the component of your car that’s responsible for creating electrical power from the engine. If you have a failing alternator, it won’t charge your battery, and it won’t send current to the components that rely on its charge. So, if you have an electrical problem that’s affecting every part of your vehicle, your battery or alternator may be to blame.
We can check your battery and alternator to locate the source of the issue. We use a battery tester to see if your battery is holding a charge (and enough of a charge to start your vehicle and run its components). We can also assess the performance of your alternator and its belts and connections.
How much will a repair cost?
Electrical repairs can vary greatly in cost. For example, replacing an alternator will cost $500 or more, while replacing a blown fuse will only cost a couple of dollars. If you’re aware of an electrical issue and you’d like an estimate for your project, you can simply reach out to us to get a quote. We can also assess your issue if you bring your vehicle into the shop, and we’ll give you an estimate for the necessary repairs.
Does my car run on alternating or direct current power?
Vehicles run on both alternating and direct current (DC) power. While your battery provides direct current power to various components (like the starter), the alternator produces alternating current, which can be routed to run the electrical components in your car, while also charging the battery of the car. Your alternator creates alternating current (AC) via a belt that is attached to the motor. As the motor turns, the belt turns, and the alternator creates electricity through moving magnets and a magnetic field. If your vehicle fails to produce AC or DC power, its electrical components will fail to operate.
How long do car batteries last?
While your alternator charges your battery, batteries don’t last forever. Unfortunately, the electrolytes within your battery eventually decay and fail to hold a charge over time. On average, a car battery will last about four years before it no longer holds a charge. Your battery will last longer or shorter depending on how much you use your vehicle, the conditions you use your vehicle in, and the type of battery that you installed.
How much does it cost to replace a battery?
Car batteries are relatively inexpensive (costing anywhere from $50 for standard batteries to $200 for premium batteries), and it’s a relatively quick process to replace a battery (which means that you’ll probably pay about $100 extra for a mechanic to swap out your battery). Reach out to us for a quick quote for your vehicle.
Can I perform electrical repairs on my vehicle myself?
While you can perform some repairs yourself, you may want to bring your car into an auto shop for battery replacements, parts replacements and repairs, and rewiring. Since your car battery can be dangerous (it holds a significant charge that can harm you if you touch its components) and live wires can also be dangerous, it may be best to trust a professional to handle your battery and other electrical components in your vehicle. In addition, if you’re replacing components in your vehicle, you may void their warranty if they aren’t installed by a certified technician. Plus, you can damage your components if you install them improperly. You may be able to replace fuses easily enough (if you can locate the fuse box), but otherwise, we recommend that you entrust a trained mechanic for electrical repairs.