A steady supply of current is crucial to operating the highly sophisticated electronics in today's vehicles. Lack of current or fluctuations in the supply of current can:

        - cause the "Check Engine" light to come on
        - cause poor engine performance or stalling
        - result in malfunctions of the computers that operate
         your vehicle's climate control, ride control and ABS

To maintain a steady supply of voltage, the electrical system in your vehicle is comprised of two systems: a starting system and a charging system.

The starting system, which gets your vehicle's engine going, is comprised of a starter motor, starter solenoid, starter relay, neutral safety switch and ignition switch. The starter solenoids and relays can be part of the starter or mounted on it; some may be mounted in other locations, so, if your vehicle doesn't "crank," the problem may or may not be caused by your starter.

Diagnosing the starter system requires several different tests. A "starter draw test" determines if the starter is drawing more amperage than is needed to turn over the engine. A "circuit test" determines if all the other components are working properly and if voltage is present when and where it is needed.

Your vehicle's battery must maintain enough voltage to turn the starter and overcome the engine's resistance. That's where your vehicle's charging system steps in. The alternator, alternator drive belt and voltage regulator that make up the charging system work together to supply enough voltage to run your vehicle's accessories and continuously recharge your battery to keep it from going dead.
A battery goes dead because of electrical drain caused by one of the following:

        - a short circuit
        - undercharging due to a bad drive belt, alternator or
         voltage regulator overcharging, which can cause 
         serious and expensive damage to highly sensitive
         computer electronics and your battery.

You need the right equipment and technician to make an accurate diagnosis of your electrical system, without causing possible further damage to sensitive electronic components. A properly performed electrical system analysis can save you money and future headaches by diagnosing the problem right the first time!