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.
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.
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 car battery provides electricity to all of the vehicle’s electrical components, including providing the essential power required for it to start. The car battery also supplements power from the charging system during times of high demand.
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.
The charging system is the vital part of your vehicle’s electrical system that keeps it running. This system consists of three main components:
- The alternator
- 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, the 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 car battery will be reduced to a lifeless, twenty-pound block.
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 car 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 car 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 car 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 car 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 Auto 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 car 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, are 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 mechanics for accurate AC repairs
- A commitment to complete customer satisfaction
- Cutting-edge automotive technology
- BBB membership with an A+ rating
- Jasper products
- Buda and San Marcos Chamber of Commerce membership
- AC Delco Batteries & Valvoline products
Car Battery Replacement & Auto Electrical Service FAQs
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
- 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.
A 12-volt battery produces the 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As a driver in Hays County, Texas, you depend on your car battery to start your vehicle every day. Still, this component will need to be replaced at some point. Don’t wait until you are left stranded on the side of the road to consider if your car battery may need to be replaced.
Generally, you can expect your vehicle’s battery to last for about three years. While it could last longer, that isn’t guaranteed. Sometimes, car batteries have a much shorter lifespan than you might think.
In any case, it’s good for Texas motorists to know when they can expect their car batteries to start wearing out.
If it’s almost time for your vehicle to get a new battery, consider scheduling an appointment at one of our Hays County auto repair shops, especially if you notice:
- An active “check engine” or “battery warning” light
- Slower-than-usual engine cranking
- Battery leaks (and the corrosion associated with them)
- A low level of battery fluid
- Bloating in your battery case
Spotting any of these factors or simply noticing that your battery is getting older can indicate it’s time to consider a replacement. In most cases, you shouldn’t sweat battery replacement if this component is just a couple of years old. You can protect your battery’s longevity by taking steps like:
- Making sure your lights are off when you park your car
- Trying not to idle your vehicle for longer than necessary
- Cleaning your battery terminals every so often
- Avoiding the use of electronics when your car is off
Is your car battery having trouble holding a charge? If so, this isn’t something you should ignore. Your battery is indispensable to your vehicle, so you’ll want to figure out what’s causing its charging issues immediately.
A few factors that can contribute to battery drainage include:
- The aging process. If everything goes right for your car battery, it could last up to five years. Unfortunately, most car batteries run into trouble at some point or another. That’s why the average battery lifespan is closer to two or three years.
- Car light issues. Do you drive an older vehicle in Hays County? If you do, your car’s headlights might not turn off automatically. That’s nothing you should panic about, of course. Just be sure to turn off your headlights when you park so they can’t drain your battery. Be aware that interior lights can bleed car batteries dry, too.
- Weather in the area. In Texas communities like Buda, Kyle and San Marcos, daytime temperatures during the summer months can get brutally hot. These temperatures can negatively impact your battery’s lifespan, especially if it’s already a few years old.
Typically, your car shouldn’t drain your battery while you’re driving — in fact, the opposite is usually true. While traveling, your alternator should deliver power to the battery, helping it charge up before it needs to start your vehicle again. But alternator issues can interrupt this process, preventing your battery from getting the energy it needs to recharge. If you have a faulty alternator, your car might run fine one moment and have trouble starting the next.
Even if your battery is technically capable of charging while you drive, it still might not get enough power from the alternator. Starting your car takes a lot out of your battery, but it usually has enough time to fully recharge while you’re on the road. Even if you constantly take short trips, your car battery might not be able to do so.
Not driving your car can also play a role in battery drainage. Under normal circumstances, the alternator can charge this component while you drive. If you leave your car parked for months, you could find yourself dealing with a depleted battery when you want to use it again.
The solution to this issue is simple: drive your car around the block once or twice every so often. If you aren’t in the area, ask a family member or friend to do this for you. This won’t take much time at all, and you’ll avoid any risk of battery issues when you’re ready to drive your vehicle for extended periods again!
In some circumstances, you might not need to replace your car battery when it shows signs of trouble. Batteries that are still relatively young are prime candidates for repair. The fix that’s best for your battery will vary based on the problem it’s facing.
Is your battery weak but not completely dead? For situations like these, a jump-start is often the best approach. This is one of the simplest battery repair methods — all you’ll need is another battery and a set of jumper cables.
Finally, not every battery can or should be repaired, especially if it’s already served you well for years. If your car battery is beyond the point where a quick fix can help, schedule a visit to Reliable Automotive for battery replacement (and save on this service with our online coupons)!