It is a good time to have your vehicle’s charging and starting system inspected and tested. The battery is the heart of the system, supplying the necessary power to start the engine and the current to operate the accessories when the vehicle is not running, and it protects the Power Train Control Module (the vehicle’s computer) from high-voltage surges. The alternator maintains the battery charged while the engine is running. The starter uses power from the battery to crank the engine to start your car. All the wires and connections between these components have to be kept clean and free of any corrosion.
A change in temperature can indicate a weak starting and charging system. If the battery tests bad or marginal we recommend replacing it. A battery that is not holding a full charge can still start a vehicle until it is completely gone.
The alternator is devised to keep the battery charged. If the battery is starting to fail by not holding the charge anymore, the alternator will work overtime trying to keep that battery charged. This can burden the alternator and cause it to fail prematurely.
The starter requires enough current to start cranking an engine at rest. A starter that is failing may have trouble spinning very fast and cause an extra heavy current draw. Periodic inspection and testing of the starting and charging system will keep your car reliable.