The work of an Automotive Service Technician also known as a Mechanic has changed from normal mechanical repair to a high knowledge and very technical job. Today, integrated electronic systems and complex computers run and maintain vehicles. They also measure their performance while on the road and can adjust to certain conditions. Technicians must have a good base of knowledge about how vehicles components work and interact, as well as the capability to work with electronic diagnostic equipment and computer based vehicles.
The most important system of your vehicle would definitely be the electrical system; the electrical system maintains almost everything in you car; from climate control to just adjusting your seat. There are many components to an electrical circuit that many people don’t know of. There are tons of different switching devices, protection devices, moving devices and plain old ingenious devices that seem to not even be possible. The car industry has really turned to upgrading there vehicles with more electrical devices to make the driver more comfortable when operating this brilliant machine.
The most updated electrical device on a vehicle that I can think of is the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which actually measures a wireless sensor that is installed in your tire to let you know if your tire pressures are off. The first thing that I would like to do is explain what electricity is in an automobile. Electricity is the worlds most widely used source if energy. Electricity is the flow of electrons through a conductor to eventually be used to supply a load of some sort.
The electrons flow from positive to negative.
In order to understand how an electric charge moves from one atom to another, you need to learn a little about atoms. Everything that surrounds us is made of atoms; every piece of grass, every plant, every animal. The human body is made up of a great amount of atoms. Air and water are made if atoms too. Atoms are the building block of the universe and without them there would be nothing. Atoms are so small that millions of them would fit on the head of a pin. Atoms are created by even smaller elements. The center of an atom is called the nucleus. The nucleus is made of particles called protons and neutrons.
The protons and neutrons are extremely tiny, but electrons are much smaller. Electrons also rotate around the nucleus in there orbit a good distance from the nucleus. The proton is the positive charge and the electrons have the negative charge. These protons and electrons are rotating around the neutron in there orbit. These electrons can be bumped and moved out of their orbits. Applying a force can make the electrons move from one atom to another. These moving electrons are electricity. There are a few types of measurements to electricity that you will have to know.
The first measurement that almost everyone has heard of is voltage. Voltage is the amount of pressure applied to push the electrons in the circuit. The second measurement is amperes also known as amps. Amps are the amount of current flowing through the circuit. For example; think of a regular neighborhood street. It is just a small street that is normally a low speed for vehicles, if we were to measure the speed in witch the cars are going we would get a small ampere reading maybe even milliamps. Now if we were to look at a sky view of a fast speed highway with more lanes you can see the amount of cars passing through is faster.
That would be a high amount of amps. The last measurement of electricity that we use on cars today is resistance. Resistance is a property that slows the electrons. It is measured in Ohms the thing that resists a circuit is the load like a light bulb. The light bulb slows the electrons in the filament witch then creates heat, once heat is created then the gas inside the bulb glows. There is a part that is used inside cars called a resistor in a electrical circuit and what it does is slows the current flow in the circuit to make whatever load you have move slower.
For example a variable resistor is used for the dash lights, you can control how much current is flowing through that circuit to dim the lights. So how does a battery work? A battery doesn’t make electrons; it holds them like a storage tank. A battery is made of two different metals that are opposite of each other and a chemical solution (Battery acid) that lets electrons flow through it. Electrons inside the battery are stationary at the negative terminal until a circuit is completed on the outside of the terminals.
Once the circuit is completed the electrons pass from the negative plate to the positive plate and out the positive terminal. Once the electrons are at the positive terminal they pass through the circuit, used up by the load (for example a light bulb) and completed at the negative terminal which then goes to the negative plate. Once the circuit is opened the electrons are stationary at the plates until the circuit starts again. A battery is measured by amps; how fast current can flow through it and how much load it can take