Starting and Charging Repair Services Austin, TX


Starting and Charging Repair

The starting and charging systems are two of the most important components of your vehicle—they work together to start the engine and maintain power to electrical systems. In a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle the 12V low voltage system controls all of the computer and safety systems, and will not allow the vehicle to run if it has problems. The process begins with the starting system as it converts chemical energy from the battery to electrical energy to power the control systems, computers, safety systems, and displays. In a conventional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle the 12V battery also powers a starter motor. This motor then transfers the mechanical energy to the engine, effectively starting the car. Once the engine is started, the charging system takes over. It is responsible for generating power for the vehicle’s electrical systems by converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. The charging system is energized by the battery and then driven by the power of the engine. As well as powering all of the electrical systems with adequate power, the charging system also sends current into the battery to restore its charge. Many components make up the starting and charging systems, and a lot can go wrong. If you’re experiencing any issues starting your car or maintaining power, bring your car to Happy Hybrid Auto. With our highly trained ASE Certified technicians and state-of-the-art service center, we’ll have you on the road in no time!Battery

A vehicle’s battery serves as the backbone of its electrical system by supplying power to the starter, computer, control, safety, and ignition systems. It accomplishes this by converting chemical energy into electrical energy. Most modern vehicles use a lead-acid battery encased in plastic. Contained within these batteries is an arrangement of positive and negative plates as well as a mixture of sulfuric acid and water. When the electrolyte mixture comes in contact with the lead plates, it creates a chemical reaction that enables the battery to store and release energy. Furthermore, these plates are connected to two terminals (+ and -) that link to the vehicle’s wiring harness, starter, and ignition systems, allowing energyfrom the battery to flow to them. Batteries don’t always show signs that they are failing, (especially in Hybrid Vehicles and Electric Vehicles) so it’s important to check them periodically. At Happy Hybrid Auto, we recommend that you check your battery at every oil change or tire rotation. We check to make sure that the battery is securely mounted—vibrations from the car can greatly shorten its lifespan.  In addition, we check that the connections are clean, tight, and corrosion free. You can use a mixture of baking soda and water to clean them or use chemically treated battery cleaner around the posts to prevent corrosion. If you need a new battery or want your existing one inspected, come to Happy Hybrid Auto. Our state of the art service and repair center is located in Austin, TX.

Alternator

Imagine you start your car and begin to drive. Everything seems normal, but you slowly start to notice that your AC isn’t working; next your radio shuts off; and maybe your headlights begin to dim. A conventional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle might have a bad battery, but the more likely scenario is that your alternator is failing. In a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle the DC to DC Converter takes the place of an Alternator. An alternator is a mechanical device that generates a current for recharging the battery and for powering certain vehicle electrical loads. When you turn the key in the ignition, the battery current energizes the alternator. Subsequently, mechanical energy is transferred from the engine to the alternator by a drive belt on a pulley. Within the alternator, a rotating magnet called a rotor turns around a stationary iron core called a stator. Surrounding the rotor and the stator are a series of copper wire conductors wound in coils. Together, these alternator components convert the engine’s mechanical energy into electrical energy through electromagnetic induction. The resulting alternating current is sent to the vehicle’s electrical system and to recharge the battery. Without an alternator, your car’s battery would be unable to recharge itself, and electrical components like the radio, AC, headlights, etc…would not be able to function. Prevent a bad alternator from stranding you by letting Happy Hybrid Auto check is on a regular basis. Our service and repair center is located Austin, TX.

DC to DC Converter

A conventional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle uses an alternator to supply the 12 Volt electrical system. In a Hybrid or Electric Vehicle the DC to DC Converter takes the place of an Alternator. A DC to DC Converter is a electronic device that steps down the high voltage from the traction battery to 12V DC for recharging the battery and for powering the 12V vehicle electrical loads. When you turn the key (or press the button) in the ignition, the battery current energizes the vehicles control and computer systems. Subsequently a safety check of the high voltage circuitry is performed, the contactors are closed to allow the high voltage system to energize and operate, and the DC to DC converter produces low voltage (12V DC) that is used to recharge the battery and supply power for the computers, control systems, lights, safety systems, radio, etc.. Within the DC to DC Converter are multiple high power transistors that “chop” the high voltage DC current into alternating current. A step down transformer is used to derive 12V AC. A rectifier circuit then produces clean low voltage current, working just like an Alternator. Together, these DC to DC converter components convert the vehicles’ high voltage energy into low voltage energy, working the same way that your cell phone charger or computer’s power supply operates. The resulting current is sent to the vehicle’s electrical system and to recharge the battery. Without a DC to DC converter, your Hybrid or EV 12V battery would be unable to recharge itself, and electrical components like the radio, dashboard display, headlights, etc. would not be able to function. Prevent a bad DC to DC converter from stranding you by letting Happy Hybrid Auto check it on a regular basis. Our service and repair center is located Austin, TX.

Starter

Starting the engine is arguably the most important function of a vehicle’s electrical system. To accomplish this, the starting system converts electrical energy from the battery to mechanical energy through a starting motor. A starter is composed of an electric motor that drives a gear designed to engage with the engine’s flywheel. When the ignition switch is turned, the starter cranks the engine using this mechanical energy. In Hybrid Vehicles the High Voltage Motor – Generator is used to start the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine), it does not use a traditional starter motor (excpt for some older model Honda Hybrids).

Overtime, the battery’s cables can become corroded or loose, causing slow cranking, arcing at cable connections, and other electrical system problems. To prevent this and to ensure good perfomance, Happy Hybrid Auto recommends checking the battery cables at every oil change. Another starter issue occurs when the gear that meets with the engine’s flywheel becomes worn. When this happens, the engine will not reach the necessary cranking speed and will not start. As an added measure of protection, we recommend that you have your alternator tested prior to any long car trips. To have any components of your electrical system checked, come by our service and repair center, located in Austin, TX.

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