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It’s pretty easy to assume that your car is a sprawling morass of cables, switches and fixtures which come together to create a bit of a muddle! However, the electrical system is one area of your car which is fairly practical and requires all kinds of internal checks and measures.

In this quick guide, we’re going to take a look at what you need to know about the electrical system in your car, and what you can do in the event of your electrics failing. Is getting everything back up and running as tricky as it seems? Let’s dive in and take a look.

Car Electrics: The Basics

When it comes to any modern car’s electrical system, you are normally going to find that the circuits are negatively earthed. There will normally be a 12-volt battery in place, as well as an alternator that kicks in when you start driving the vehicle. These systems run via what is called positive flow. Older cars might have a positive earthing, but this has largely fallen by the wayside in the modern age.

The cabling and wiring in your car is a lot simpler than you might imagine. Specifically, you will normally find main cables supplying the ignition, starter motor and charger with the power they need to actively operate. This means that you can effectively ignite when the key is turned and that your battery keeps charged up. The different wires involved are colour coded as well as thickness coded. This should, if you are an amateur mechanic, make it pretty easy to tell the functions apart.

You’ll normally find that the more modern the car is, the more likely it is that it will fall back on printed circuits. They tend to be space and power efficient. On the whole! The lighting system is the only electrical part of your car which isn’t activated by the key ignition, meaning that it’s powered by a live feed.

Then, the power source for your car will run back through relays and to a simple fuse box, where various parts are protected. Your fuses will likely arrive in different voltage levels, each serving a different purpose within the electrical setup. You’ll also find that electromagnetic switches help to control much of what goes on inside the car.

Electrical System Problems

As you can imagine, many different parts could make for many different problems! For example, you may commonly find that light bulbs blow more than any other part.

However, do always be ready to check the fuses in the event of an electrical fault. More often than not, problems can trace back here!

If you’re not sure of how to work the colour coded fuse box on your car, it is always worth reaching out to an experienced mechanic. Modern cars make it easier than ever for electrical faults to be found and fixed. There is no need to panic – just make sure you get those problems seen ASAP!