Troubleshooting electrical issues, especially those pertaining to cars, can be a real problem, as well as frustrating. But this does not happen if you keep in mind a few simple rules…
Safety is always the most important consideration when working with the automotive electrical system, and it has much to do with the car voltage. Though high voltage sparks in the ignition system, battery, and circuits of the high-end vehicles should not be left unattended, they can seldom lead to serious mishaps. Real problem can arise if your car undergoes a short circuit of wire, PCM or others. A little damage to the above mentioned car pats can also lead to serious consequences. But there are some rules of thumb, following which you can ensure car safety for long.
Rule#1: Take Care of The Battery
The battery should be disconnected when doing any kind of electrical repairs or replacing electrical or electronic components. Doing so, you can eliminate any kind of high risk. If you not find the voltage at the load point, then check the fuse, fuse link or circuit breaker that protects the circuit or the power relay that supplies voltage to the circuit.
Rule#2: Know Your Car Fuses
The problem arise in a blown fuse, then replacing the fuse may restore power temporalily but unless the underlying cause for the overload perfectly. Do not substitute the fuse for greater capacity. A larger fuse may able to handle the load properly but failes to take the load of wiring and the rest of the circuit. A circuit designed for a 20 amp fuse is designed to handle a maximum of 20 amps.
A faulty circuit breaker will have the same effect as a blown fuse. Circuit breakers are often used to protect circuit that may experience brief periods of overloadibg such as an A/C compresser clutch.
Rule#3: Don’t Underrate The Circuit Breakers
The easiest way to test a circuit breaker with a jumper cable is to bypass it. The jumper wire you have, should be replaceable with inline fuse that protects the circuit from damage. If you are in dilemma about which fuse to use, then go safe with a standard 5- or 10- amp variety. You can bypass the circuit breaker when the circuits work.
You can also check the relay with this same basic test. A relay is nothing but the remote switch that uses an electromagnet to close a set of contact points. When the relay magnet is going through a voltage, the points close and battery voltage is routed through the circuit main circuit.
Relays are mainly used in the circuits for reducing the amount of wire that is required and alsofor reducing the current that flows through the primary control switch. Timer or sensor can be used to turn a much higher capacity relay on and off. So, relatively low amperage that can make cheap switches. However, no matter how simple this all seems.
Rule#4: Understand That Voltages Matter
For operating, every electrical device requires a certain amount of voltage. When the voltage drops, a light bulb will grow with reduced brilliance. But for some components, there is a threshold voltage below which it will not operate at all. A starter can crank the engine more slowly with reduced voltage, but if it is too slow then the crank may not happen. The minimun threshold voltage is especially critical for such type of component i.e. Solenoids, relay, timers,buzzers,horns, fuel injectors and most pf electronic like the ignition modules, computers and radio.