The Dependable Choice For Auto Electrical Service

If you need trusted auto electrical repairs in Hays County, trust the experts at Reliable Automotive. Here, it’s not just a name. Our customer service is friendly and knowledgeable and our auto electrical repairs are prompt and reliable. We are committed to your total satisfaction, whether you visit us at our Buda or San Marcos mechanic locations or at our new shop in Kyle, TX.

No matter what vehicle you drive, it contains miles of electrical wires. There are dozens of sensors and several switches and modules that all have to function together for your vehicle to operate properly. Over time and with use, electrical parts deteriorate and cause problems using your vehicle to its full potential. That’s when you need auto electrical service.

From electrical diagnostic services to a car alternator replacement and everything in between, our professional team of ASE-certified master technicians can help. Our experts are knowledgeable of all types of auto electrical systems and services, including:

  • Car battery replacement
  • Alternator repair or replacement
  • Replacement of the car starter
  • Wiring repair or replacement
  • Fuse replacement
  • Power window motor replacement

We can pinpoint any issues and make sure your car, truck, or SUV is getting the power it needs to run and keep you on the road. Schedule your electrical service or repair at Reliable Automotive today!

Keeping You Connected With Professional Auto Electrical Service

At Reliable Automotive, our technicians are ASE-Certified and thoroughly trained in automotive electrical systems of all varieties. They have years of experience in auto electrical service on most makes, taking care of your concerns using industry-standard techniques and professional-grade technology and tools.

Whether your Jeep Grand Cherokee TIPM is faulty, your Ford Fusion has broken wiring that needs to be traced and repaired, or your Nissan Sentra requires a power window motor replacement, we do it all at any of our locations – in Buda, Kyle, and San Marcos, TX.

We know you trust your vehicle will operate exactly as it should every time you get behind the wheel. That’s why we always use the highest quality aftermarket and Original Equipment parts available for auto electrical service.

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The Key Parts Of Your Vehicle’s Electrical System

A vehicle’s electrical system is made up of a complex mixture of circuits and components that produce, disperse, and store power where it’s needed. This system is vital for starting the engine and keeping it running, as well as powering specific safety components like blinkers, headlights, and engine fans. It also provides the power needed to run your vehicle’s stereo, power windows, and even charge your phone inside. 

The battery, starting system, and charging system are the three main parts of a vehicle’s electrical system. All three of these things work together to power the vehicle, start the engine and keep it running. Then, the vehicle’s wiring keeps everything connected to the power it needs.

Battery

The 12-volt battery in your vehicle consists of a series of lead plates submerged in a solution of 35% sulfuric acid and 65% water. Within this battery, a chemical reaction occurs where electrons are released through conductors, electrical energy is produced, and this electricity is then channeled into your vehicle’s electrical system. 

Your battery provides electricity to all of the vehicle’s electrical components, including providing the essential power required for it to start. The battery also supplements power from the charging system during times of high demand.

Starting System

The starting system does exactly what it sounds like, it turns your vehicle’s engine on. But, did you know that more electrical power is consumed during this process than anything else in your vehicle? The starting system is made up of three components that work one after another, including: the ignition switch, the starter relay (solenoid), and the starter motor.

Charging System

The charging system is the vital part of your vehicle’s electrical system that keeps it running. This system consists of three main components:

  1. The alternator
  2. Circuits
  3. Voltage regulator

The alternator helps provide power to the electrical system and recharges the battery while the vehicle is running. The circuits act as conductors for electrical power. Finally, voltage passed through the circuits is controlled by the voltage regulator.

All of these components should be included in your preventative maintenance inspections. If any of the above components fail, your battery will be reduced to a lifeless, twenty-pound block.

Wiring 

Vehicles run on a direct current (DC) system, as opposed to an alternating current (AC) system, which is what normally powers homes. This means it is a single-wire system. To put it simply, your vehicle’s electricity flows from the positive battery terminal, through all of the electrical components, and back to your battery through the negative terminal (ground) in a single direction.

How It All Works Together

When the ignition is turned, it causes a small electrical current to pass through the starter relay, which then causes a stronger current to run through the battery cables and into the starter motor. Then, the starter motor cranks the engine, forcing the pistons to create enough suction to draw a mixture of fuel and air into the cylinders. The ignition system then creates a spark, igniting the mixture and starting your engine.

Then, while your vehicle is running, your alternator works to recharge the power that has been lost in the battery during the starting process.

Keep Your Vehicle On The Road With Preventative Electrical Maintenance

Including the electrical system components in your vehicle’s preventative maintenance routine will not only help you extend the life of your vehicle, but it also can ensure that any issues that may come up are caught early and addressed quickly.

Most vehicle manufacturers recommend having your battery inspected twice per year at a minimum. A good habit to get into is to have it inspected each time you bring it in for an oil change. During a battery assessment, our ASE-certified mechanics will inspect:

  •  The battery’s terminals and case condition
  •  The battery cable connections
  •  The battery tie-down hardware

If it is determined that your car battery needs to be replaced, we’ll give you an affordable car battery price that can’t be beaten on the type of battery your vehicle needs. 

Many starters last for 100,000 to 150,000 miles. But, it doesn’t hurt to include the starting system in your vehicle’s regular inspections. This will help pinpoint any issues and ensure you get the full life from your starting system. Examining the vehicle’s starter consists of:

  • Inspecting the mounting brackets and bolts
  • Examining cable connections
  • Performing a current draw test to examine the battery voltage while the starter cranks the engine 

A premature alternator failure is most commonly caused by heat, vibration, and external contaminants. This can often be avoided by having simple visual inspections done regularly. When the vehicle is already in for other services, we can inspect your vehicle’s alternator to ensure it is good to go. Examining the alternator consists of:

  • A visual inspection of the exterior of the alternator
  • Inspecting the positioning brackets
  • Examining the electric hookups
  • Checking the drive belt
  • Using a multimeter to test the charging system and ensure that the alternator is functioning properly and maintaining the proper voltage.

How To Tell When There’s An Electrical Issue

When your vehicle may need electrical service or repair, there are a few key indicators to watch out for. Even though the source of the issue can vary depending on the type of vehicle, the following signs should not be ignored:

  • Difficulty cranking your engine
  • Frequent battery problems
  • Dashboard lights, turn signals, or interior lights failing to work properly
  • If your headlights are not working, or the brightness is dimmer than usual
  • Fuses keep blowing out
  • You smell burning plastic or insulation
  • Electrical components, like your stereo or GPS, is not working properly

If not addressed quickly, electrical issues can turn into expensive repairs. If any of the above is happening in your vehicle, bring it to Reliable Automotive for electrical diagnostics and repair services.

We Can Pinpoint The Problem

The complexity of today’s vehicle electrical systems means that only trained professionals equipped with proper electrical diagnostic equipment, technical specifications, and accurate wiring diagrams should work on your vehicle’s electrical system. Unsure of where you can find highly skilled professionals like these? We’ve got you covered!

Issues with an electrical system can be tricky, especially in vehicles. The source of the problem can vary greatly from one vehicle to another. But, Reliable Automotive is equipped with the expertise and technology required to translate your vehicle’s needs into a necessary action plan. We will:

  • Use specialized equipment to run electrical diagnostics and pull the data on your system’s issues.
  • Interpret the data to understand exactly where the electrical system is not working properly.
  • Implement a customized solution to the specific needs of your vehicle.

Our team is proud to deliver the experience, expertise, and professionalism that you rely on for this critical automotive service. We apply a case-by-case approach to our auto services to ensure that your vehicle is getting exactly the care it needs. You can trust our technicians to keep your vehicle’s electrical system running properly and ready to go.

The Reliable Automotive Advantage

Keep it local, keep it Reliable! For quality, affordable auto electrical repairs, visit the experts at Reliable Automotive in Buda, Kyle, and San Marcos. 

Call us today or use our convenient online appointment form to schedule your visit. At Reliable Auto, we offer:

  • ASE-Certified technicians for accurate AC repairs
  • A commitment to complete customer satisfaction 
  • Cutting-edge automotive technology
  • A locally owned and operated family business
  • BBB membership with an A+ rating
  • Jasper products
  • Buda and San Marcos Chamber of Commerce membership
  • AC Delco Batteries & Valvoline products

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  • What Does the Electrical System Do In a Car?

    Cars have dozens of sensors, switches, and modules that must work together for your vehicle to operate successfully. Some of these electrical systems include:

    • An alternator 
    • A car starter
    • Wiring 
    • Fuses
    • Power windows
    • A car battery

    The entire system also powers components like your stereo, headlights, fans, blinkers, and the charging devices inside the passenger cabin.

  • How Do Car Batteries Work?

    A 12-volt battery produces electrical energy that gives the starter the voltage it needs to start the engine. Your car battery also supplements power from this charging system to keep the engine running, especially during periods of high demand like extreme temperatures.

  • How Do I Know When It’s Time for a Car Battery Replacement?

    There are telltale signs that indicate your car’s battery may need to be replaced. Below are a few red flags to watch out for:

    • If your check engine light comes on
    • If your car is sluggish to start
    • If your fluid levels gets low
    • If the battery case begins to swell
    • If you notice a rotten egg smell
    • If the battery is over 3 years old

    If you notice any of these signs, make an appointment at your local Reliable Automotive to have your battery inspected immediately. Our professional service staff is ready to assist if you need to replace a car battery.

  • What Is Preventative Maintenance For a Battery?

    Most automotive experts recommend your car battery be inspected at least twice a year. One way to make sure the inspection is performed regularly is to include it with your routine oil changes. Your Reliable mechanic can add this to the list of maintenance checks, so you will be alerted of any problems early.

    Our ASE-certified battery specialists will inspect:

    • The battery’s terminals
    • The battery’s case condition
    • The battery’s cable connections
    • The battery’s tie down hardware

    If we determine that your vehicle needs a new battery, be sure to check out our coupon page for discounts and specials.

  • How Can I Tell the Age of My Car Battery?

    Car batteries typically last between 3 to 5 years, but how do you know when a battery was manufactured? 

    The easiest way would be to check the 4 or 5-digit date code on the battery case. Look first for a letter and then a digit. The letter is assigned to each month: A for January, B for February, etc. The number designates the year. For example, 2009 would be the number 9 and 2011 would be the number 1. This code (both the letter and digit) is the date that the battery was shipped from the factory. With this information, you can determine how old the battery is. The numbers and digits that follow can help you identify where it was built.

  • Is a Jump Start Harmful to a Battery?

    When you try to start your car and realize that the battery is dead, it can be a frustrating experience. Many drivers carry jumper cables, so the car can be jump started by another car or some other source of power. This temporary connection can start the car by providing enough power to crank the engine. After that, the normal charging system recharges and the jumper cables are then removed. Leaving the engine running can restore the original charge. Driving the car for a few minutes can help continue the recharging process. 

    The owner’s manual for your vehicle outlines safe procedures for how to jump start a car. Following these recommendations can prevent any damage to your battery. 

  • Why Should I Bring My Car to Reliable Auto for Battery Maintenance?

    Electrical issues can be complicated. Reliable Automotive has ASE-certified mechanics that have the expertise and technology needed to diagnose the system, including the battery. They will generate the data to zero in on the battery’s problems, if any, and then interpret that data correctly. The final step would be to implement a solution that meets the requirements of your vehicle and solve the problem.

    Our service staff will discuss all your questions and keep record of your routine maintenance checks. You can depend on their professionalism and reliability to get you through even the most difficult issues with your vehicle.

    Schedule an appointment here!