Electrical System

So there is the battery... and all the other stuff
What's that other stuff again? 
Learn how it works so you don't get duped into replacing things you don't need 

Interactive Tool

Fuse Box
(Under The Hood)
Fuse Box
(In The Cabin)
The fuse box acts a protector to your car's eletrical components. Just like the one in your house, your car's fuse box will trip if to much load is put onto a component by the battery. However, the car fuse simply blows out and needs replaced. You can buy a set for 100+ for under $20.
The fuse box acts a protector to your car's eletrical components. Just like the one in your house, your car's fuse box will trip if to much load is put onto a component by the battery. However, the car fuse simply blows out and needs replaced. You can buy a set for 100+ for under $20.
To Car Body or Engine Block
DC Power To Battery
Starter
Starter
Key
Ignition
As you turn the key, the starter is the first thing working in your car to power it up. It takes a completion of the circuit, turning the key, for the starter to work with the battery to send power to the engine. 
When you turn your key you have two options. You can turn it halfway, this engages power with the battery to light up your dash and allow your radio to work. You can turn it fully and it engages your starter which turns on your engine. At this point the alternator is running.
Wheel
Wheel
V-belt or
​Serpentine Belt
Fuse Box
Various
Battery
Radio
Alternator
Probably one of the biggest electrical draws in your cabin is your radio. All of the lights, CD, auxillary hook-ups, dials, etc... demand a significant amount of power compared to the components of your car.
The battery is the thing that basically helps power up the car. After that, the alternator takes charge. The battery has a positive 12V charge and a negative charge that is bolted to the car body or engine block or both.
Under The Hood
In The Cabin
Just one of the many eletrical systems in the car that require some thought. Their are most likely multiple wires going through your car to power the door locks, power windows, side mirror adjustments, and child proof buttons. The wires are bundled up and fed through the hinge part of the door to supply the power.
Alternator
Door Locks
Ever wonder why your car wont start, then after a jump-start to your battery from another car you can drive. Well the alternator is the work horse of the electrical system. It is mechanically driven by the belt which rotates the "electricity generator" (well leave it at that) inside the alternator
Key ​Ignition
Fuse Box
Display
Various
Various
Once your car is up and running, the various components of the car recieve however much voltage they need to operate. Blower the radiator fan, opening and closing a valve, or sensing the temperature of various engine spots all need voltage from the battery.
Along with the radio and door locks, their are many other electrical parts that need just a few volts to operate. Things like the AC and Heat controls, the defrost, the cabin lights, and the seat adjusters are just a few for example. Think of all the possibilities for these new automated cars.
Radio
Various
Door Lock
Door Lock

Various Eletrical Pictures

  1. electrical system car
  2. electrical system car
  3. electrical car system
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  5. electrical car system
1997 BMW 328is E36
1997 BMW 328is E36
Wiring Harness going to various electrical components in the cabin
Electrical clip to this component, blower motor resistor, that I am screwing in
1999 Toyota 4Runner 5VZ-FE
1999 Toyota 4Runner 5VZ-FE
Positive Terminal to the Fuse Box
Fuse Box
1999 Toyota 4Runner 5VZ-FE
Alternator