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Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) - Electrical System
These flashcards are all about vehicle electrical systems. I am using these flashcards to prepare for the Parts Specialist (P2) test.
Terms in this set (16)
What are the major components of the electrical system?
What are battery cables?
electrical cables that connect the battery to the vehicle's electrical system
What is an alternator?
the main component in the charging system, it is mounted on the engine and driven by a belt
What is a starter?
an electric motor mounted on the engine or transmission
there are different types of starters: direct drive starter motors, gear reduction starter motors, and permanent magnet starter motors (reduced size starters with permanent magnets instead of wire coils)
What is the purpose/function of a battery?
to provide current for cranking the engine, and to supplement the electrical needs of the vehicle
When should a battery be replaced?
when it can no longer hold a charge or fail a load test or capacitance test *
average battery life is typically 3 to 5 years
What is the purpose/function of battery cables?
to connect the battery to the vehicle's electrical system. The positive cable typically connects the battery positive (+) post to the starter solenoid or relay. The negative cable typically connects the battery negative (-) post to the engine and/or chassis ground.
When should battery cables be replaced?
when corroded or otherwise damaged
What is the purpose/function of an alternator?
to produce current to maintain the battery at full charge and to provide all or most of the amperage needed by the ignition system, engine, lights and electrical accessories
alternators produce alternating current (AC), which is converted to direct current (DC) by a diode trio (rectified) on the back of the unit
When should an alternator be replaced?
when its charging output is less than its specifications
When should an alternator pulley be replaced?
when the alternator is replaced, if the new alternator does not come with a replacement pulley
What is the purpose/function of a voltage regulator?
to control the amperage output of the alternator by sensing the electrical load on the charging system
Most newer vehicles either have an internal regulator mounted inside the alternator (which cannot be replaced separately), or use the powertrain control module (PCM) to regulate the charging system. Some vehicles have an external regulator (mechanical or electronic) that can be replaced if it causes a charging problem.
When should a voltage regulator be replaced?
if/when it causes a charging problem
some vehicles have an internal regulator, mounted inside the alternator (which cannot be replaced separately), whereas some older vehicles have an external regulator (mechanical or electronic) that can be replaced
What is the purpose/function of a starter?
to crank the engine to start it
When should a starter be replaced?
when the starter drive fails (preventing the motor from engaging the flywheel)
accurate diagnosis of a starter problem is important to prevent unnecessary parts replacement and returns
What is the purpose/function of a powertrain control module (PCM) and/or a voltage regulator?
to control the charging output from the alternator
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