How Does a Car Electrical System Work?

by Jason Medina

Car Battery Center of Electrical System

A car's electrical system is powered by, and dependent on, the car battery. A car battery can be thought of as the brain of a car's electrical system. The power that ultimately supplies the juice needed for all of the electrical components on a car to function originates from the battery.

Electrical System a Complex Web

A car's electrical system is made up of a web of connected wires, fuses and relay systems. Basic electrical wiring carries the current supplied by the car battery and directs it to various components. A system of fuses, which serve as a protection against electrical malfunctions, and relays, which redirect incoming electrical charges, comprise the heart and inner workings of a vehicle's electrical system.

Car Alternator Importance

A car alternator is responsible for powering a car's accessories--radio, lights, horn--during normal engine operation. The car battery supplies the initial charge that allows the car to be started, and then the alternator takes over the job of supplying a constant electrical feed. In addition, the alternator is responsible for recharging the battery after the battery loses some of its strength from starting the car.

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