BMW, Mini Cooper, and Volvo Electrical Service
While your vehicle's electrical system can be complex, the three main components are the battery, the starter, and the alternator.
Here are the Beyer Basics:
The battery shoots power to the starter. The starter fires up the car. While the car's running the alternator keeps the battery at the level of power needed to juice everything from your headlights to your digital clock. If even one of these components is nonoperational your vehicle either won't start, or will run improperly.
All BMW, Mini Cooper, and Volvo models from model years starting in the early 2000's are equipped with anti-theft systems. These anti-theft systems consist of a chip in the key, receivers, and modules. The chip tells your vehicle not to start if any sort of malfunction occurs.
When your vehicle doesn't start, it's not always as simple as a bad battery or bad starter.
Before your vehicle has started up and is running, your battery is providing the entire vehicle the electrical current needed to power your engine's ignition and fuel systems. There's a line in a Bruce Springsteen song that says, "you can't start a fire without a spark". Well, a running engine is the preverbal fire, the fuel system runs gas that was resting in your car's gas tank to feed that fire, your ignition system is the spark that lights said fire, and the battery is what makes this all happen.
All BMW's with CBS (condition based service) require specific batteries that must be registered/programmed to the vehicle for proper operation of the electrical and charging systems. Which means, you can say goodbye to having your battery installed by your local auto parts store.
So without the battery you wouldn't have the power to start your car, right? Well, when your battery is good to go your starter is what really gets things… well… started! Remember how movies and TV shows would show the process of an old train getting started? Something would start rotating, and that would cause the cranking of the wheels, which would then lead to large pistons going in and out, and from there it's just steam and a whistle? Well your car's engine works similar to this, but at a much faster pace. Your starter spins what's called a flywheel. The flywheel rotates what's called a crankshaft. The crankshaft moves your engine's pistons back and forth and you're off to the races. Hence the importance of a BMW, Mini Cooper, or Volvo starter. Without it, the train's not leaving the station.
With an electrical system check at Beyer Motor Works we can catch the early signs of starter failure. The check will allow us to determine if your starter is getting the right amount of current from your battery. There is a balance here. If your starter is drawing a low amount of current then we'll need to check its connectivity and cables. If your starter is drawing a high amount of current then we'll have to determine how worn the starter is. Either way, we've got the technicians to take care of it.
While your engine is running your alternator charges your car's battery and keeps the electrical system functioning. If your alternator is having issues, your vehicle can still start, but it won't run for very long. If it's time for a new alternator it'll feel as though your car is haunted. The lights will behave erratically, your battery will go rogue and even discharge, and after awhile your engine will lose all power. While it's an interesting process to witness, it's not fun to deal with when you need to get from Point A to Point B. Your alternator needs the perfect amount of current and voltage, and the technicians at Beyer Motor Works will make that happen.
See Your BMW, Mini Cooper, or Volvo's Starter in Action:
It's amazing what a car does with one simple turn of the key. Your electrical system springs into action, your battery powers the starter, your starter activates your alternator, then your alternator charges your battery, and your battery provides the energy needed to run lights, stereo systems, clocks, windshield wipers, etc. Here's the process in action:
A healthy electrical system equals a reliable ride.