► Jump-starting a vehicle is one of the simplest automotive tasks to perform, but done incorrectly, it can cause battery and possible vehicle damage. Always ensure the proper polarity when connecting the dead and good batteries together.
► When servicing a battery, always wear the proper personal protective equipment.
► Battery maintenance requires inspecting, cleaning, testing, and charging. Always follow all applicable technical data when performing battery maintenance.
► Batteries need to be recycled once their life cycle is used up. They contain hazardous materials that cannot be put in a landfill.
► The best way to test a battery’s capacity and internal condition is through a battery load test.
► The starting system provides a method of rotating (cranking) the vehicle’s internal combustion engine (ICE) to begin the combustion cycle.
► The starting system consists of a battery, cables, a solenoid, a starter motor, a ring gear, and an ignition switch.
► The starter motor converts electrical energy to mechanical energy.
► Some starters operate through gear reduction, giving the same amount of torque at less size and weight.
► A starter motor is basically an electromagnet.
► The starter motor pinion must mesh with the engine ring gear to turn the engine over and allow the vehicle to start.
► Once the engine starts running on its own, the starter must disengage from the ring rear to avoid damaging the starter or the ring gear.
► The solenoid on the starter motor performs two main functions: It switches the high current flow required by the starter motor, and it engages the starter drive with the ring gear.
► Vehicle immobilizers generally comprise a computer-managed security system that disables the start and engine systems by using an electronic system to uniquely identify each vehicle key by a security code system.
► Hybrid vehicles use both an ICE and electric motors to power the vehicle’s drive train.
► Testing starter motor current draw is a good indicator of overall starter motor performance.
► Compared to older vehicles, newer vehicles put a higher demand on the charging system, as many systems are required not only to operate the vehicle but also to operate an array of entertainment systems.
► The DC generator has not been used on vehicles since the 1960s.
► The AC generator, or alternator, is used on today’s vehicles both to recharge the vehicle battery and to run numerous other electrical accessories on the vehicle.
► The alternator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.
► The alternator changes AC to DC by using a rectifier with diodes to allow electrical current to flow in one direction only.
► The alternator has a regulator, either built in or external, to keep the alternator from overcharging the battery.
► The more amps the alternator can produce, the more accessories the vehicle electrical system can handle.
► The first item that should be checked if an alternator is not charging according to the manufacturer’s specifications is the belt tension and condition.