Automotive Batteries and Electrical System

Your automotive’s electrical system is powered by, and dependent on the automotive’s battery. A automotive battery can be thought of as the brain of a car’s electrical system. The power that ultimately supplies the power needed for all of the electrical components on a car to operate. The engine in turn, powers the electrical system. These are the three key components of the electrical system:

  1. The Battery-  When your vehicle’s engine is off, the automotive battery provides the required power to the rest of the system, as well as during start-up (cranking). It also supplements the power from the charging system during periods of high demand.
  2. Charging System-The automobile’s charging system consists of three primary components; the automotive battery, alternator and the voltage regulator. The battery supplies electrical power for your vehicle while starting and during periods of high electrical loads. It also acts as a shock absorber for the electrical system by smoothing out any voltage spikes before they get to the computer.The alternator and voltage regulator provides power to the vehicle while the engine is running and maintains the batteries charge. The voltage regulator monitors the battery’s state of charge and directs the alternator to recharge the battery as necessary.
  3. Starting System-The starting system is composed of an electric starter motor and a starter solenoid. The starter solenoid is the electrical switch, activated by the ignition system when you turn the key, which engages the starter motor. The starter motor essentially spins the engine a few times so the combustion process can begin.


Any Dick Adams Advisor can help you choose the right battery for your vehicle and lifestyle. We will safely and professionally install your automotive’s battery and get you back on the road.


Car batteries last longer in cold climates than in warm. Cold starts put a greater demand on batteries, but heat is a big factor in car battery life. We can test you battery for how well it holds a charge and to estimate how much life it has left. At Dick Adams Automotive in Salinas we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 831.758.8277 and let us help keep you safely and economically on the road.