The electrical systems in a modern car are used for a wide variety of applications, from operating the headlights and indicators to complex functions such as monitoring the flow of gases from the exhaust. It is vital that these systems are fully functioning; at Headlands we take great care to ensure your car is wired correctly, and to fix any problems.
All the electrical systems in the car are connected to a ‘common earth’, which is attached to the negative pole of the battery and forms a frame that runs round the car’s entire body. This completes the electrical circuits for all the components in the car.
In mains electricity, the earth is used as a ‘third wire’, which conducts excess charge away from components that could be damaged by it, allowing it to dissipate into the ground. The ‘earth’ in a car works slightly differently. This is not a true earth, as the current cannot run into the ground, and instead connects back to the battery, meaning that only two wires flow out of the power supply.
The primary functions of a car’s electrical system are:
Powering the engine control unit (ECU), which is the computer that controls the fuel injection, coolant circulation and air intake and exhaust output systems.
Ignition and the starter motor.
Operating the car’s charging system, using the alternator.
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