Battery, Charging and Starting Systems Service & Repair
The battery, starting and charging systems in your car or truck play pivotal roles in ensuring the dependable starting and driving of your car. The main parts within this group of systems include the car battery, the alternator, and starter. And we service everyone.
From dead batteries to malfunctioning alternators, we can fix that! We even offer quick, hassle-free testing on each of these systems to find out exactly where the problem is – fast. Find out more about how each part works, then contact your local Kennedy shop to find out how we fix it.
All about Your Battery, Starting and Charging Systems
The car battery stores electrical energy that is then converted to provide enough force to get your huge engine going. The battery is supported by the starter and kept charged by your alternator while your car is on, which is why these systems are grouped together. Indicator lights on your dashboard may warn you when the battery level is getting low. You may just need to charge it on a charging station for a time, or you may need to replace it.
Here are some more signs that it may be time to get a new battery (NOTE: these may indicate issues other than your battery):
- It’s been 2-3 years since you last replaced it
- Your engine is turning over but the car isn’t starting
- It starts one day, but not the next
- Your engine isn’t turning over, and your lights and radio aren’t working
- It takes a lot to get your engine started the first time of the day you try
- You keep having to jump it to get your car started
Pro Tip: If you’re having battery troubles, pop the hood and make sure the black and red plastic terminal covers are not hiding a load of corrosion. If you see a significant amount of white or blue build-up, get some baking soda, a toothbrush, and scrub the corrosion off. Follow up by wiping it away with a clean, dry rag.
Next up is the alternator, which produces enough of an electrical current to keep your engine running. It’s also powerful enough to operate pretty much every electrical system in your car, including your radio and lights.
The alternator needs a kick-start, though, and that first jolt is offered up by the battery. After that, it works to constantly feeding electrical currents to your battery, spark plugs, engine cylinders and more. So the battery is what helps start your car, and the alternator is what keeps your car chugging along.
Because of the setup of this system, it may not be immediately clear that your alternator is to blame for problems. Some signs may include:
- Your lights are dimming and your automatic windows are slow
- Your warning lights have come on (battery signal, ALT or GEN)
- Your new battery is not keeping a charge
- Whining or grinding noises
- Electrical system problems
- Smell of burning rubber
Pro Tip: The belt in your car is what keeps the alternator turning. If the belt has slipped or come loose, you will experience poor alternator performance. A sign that the belt has come loose is the burning rubber smell we just mentioned. Pop the hood and take a small whiff. If you’re smelling the burnt rubber but the belt itself looks good, all you need is a quick tightening of your belt and you should be ready to go.
The starter in your car is a big electrical motor that essentially forces your engine to start moving. When you insert your key and turn the ignition, that’s the starter’s cue to pull a heavy current from your battery and use that energy to get the cylinders in your engine moving. All within a second or two of turning your key in the ignition.
Given the intricate nature of this system, there are a few signs of trouble that may be similar to a dead battery or malfunctioning alternator:
- The motor is slow to turn or doesn’t start at all
- You hear a whining noise instead of the engine trying to crank
- Smoke coming from under your hood when you attempt to turn on the car (and possibly while driving)
Pro Tip: There are many times you can make it to the shop yourself, and then there are times where you need to call for a tow truck. If you see smoke coming from under your hood, that calls for a tow. The smoke you’re seeing may be coming from a starter that is drawing too much power, and if you keep feeding it, you’re going to end up causing a lot more damage than the cost of a tow truck.
We can fix that!
The mechanics at Kennedy Transmission auto repair shops are expertly trained in the complete service and repair of car and truck batteries, charging, and starting systems. If you think you are having problems with any of the components of your charging and starting system, bring your car or truck to our repair service centers and let us help! Find a shop near you, today.