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The Starting and Charging System


Let’s discuss an important part of your vehicle:  The Starting and Charging System.  This system includes everything from the key/button used to start the vehicle, the ignition switch itself, all the way through the battery, the starter and solenoid, and into the alternator and the engine itself.  There are many things that all need to work correctly to create that vroom of the engine when you turn the key (or push the button).

We have discussed the detailed job of the battery and the alternator, see those pages for more details on each.  There is also more detail on the starter on this page here.  Our focus now is to discuss the system as a whole and how we can help pinpoint the cause of any trouble that you may be having. 

When the start button is pressed (or key is turned), this turns on the current through the vehicle’s computer (ECM) and it continues through the relays that send the current into the starting motor which is connected to the flywheel on the engine.  When the starting motor receives this charge, it pushes a gear into the flywheel of the engine and starts to turn the flywheel and crankshaft until the engine starts, and runs on its own power.

At Jammin’ J Auto we have a sophisticated process designed to isolate and test each part of the starting system to determine where the problem actually lies.  A thorough test of the battery, its ability to take and hold a charge and how much power it can produce is completed, as well as testing of the alternator and whether it is creating charge or just draining it.  As each component in the system is evaluated, it helps us to find where the system is failing.  So when your car won’t start and the battery is dead, it may be a bad battery or it may be that another part is creating a drain on the battery that is excessive, causing it to deplete faster than it can be charged.  We will not just pop a new battery into a system without an actual check to see that the battery itself is failing. 

When all of the physical parts of the system have been found to be fully operational, our technician will move on to the electronic part of the process.  Are the messages that are sent to the starter the problem?  Is something that is physically operational actually operating when it receives the message to operate or is it not getting the message?  These questions are the next levels of testing that will be done to determine what is needed for the vehicle.

Whether you are experiencing issues at start up that are intermittent or constant, you should have us look over this system.  We want your vehicle to start at the press of a button, literally. We can perform the test of the main parts of the system on its own or as part of a 64 point vehicle inspection.  Give our friendly Service Representative a call at 314.423.3876 to set an appointment today.

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