How Your Vehicle’s Battery Works

October 5th, 2018 by

Replacing Battery in a Car

Our caring staff at Thompson Sales wants you to know everything about how your car works. One important feature in every vehicle is the battery. The battery powers several features on your car, including lights, air conditioning, power locks, power windows, and more. Your car doesn’t run properly without a working battery. In this blog, Thompson Sales explains how your vehicle’s battery functions.

The Basics

The main purpose of the vehicle’s battery is to start your car. A chemical reaction inside the battery provides a jolt of electricity to the starter. Then, your engine comes to life. Lights appear on the dashboard and everything starts to run. You can crank up the air conditioning, turn up the radio, and use your headlights.

Battery and Alternator System

Once your car starts, a device called an alternator uses a belt run by the engine. The belt turns a small electrical generator in the alternator. Electricity then travels from the alternator along some wires to the battery, so it recharges the battery while you drive your vehicle. As long as your alternator and battery work properly, your car should have all the power it needs to run the electrical functions of your car.

The Battery Light

Occasionally, your battery light may appear on the dashboard. This could indicate a problem with anything in your battery system, not just the battery itself.

The battery light might mean a problem with:

  • Wiring between the alternator and battery
  • Voltage regulator 
  • Alternator not charging the battery properly
  • Damaged or corroded battery 
  • Broken drive belt

If your battery light comes on, get your vehicle serviced as soon as possible. Your car can run for a little while with a faulty battery system, but the battery may drain completely without repair. When your battery no longer has power, your car won’t run or start. A service technician may recommend replacing one or any combination of items related to your battery. 


If the engine doesn’t come on with your key or push-button activation, your car may need a jump-start. The jump-start process does present some safety concerns. So if you are not experienced in the process of jump-starting your car, it may be a good idea to call in a professional. 

Retrieve your jumper cables out of your trunk and utilize another car’s battery to provide a jolt to start your car. Connect the cables properly, start the other car, and then try your ignition. You should have your car’s battery checked if you need frequent jump-starts.

Choose Thompson Sales for Your Automotive Needs  

When your battery light comes on, don’t wait to make a service appointment at Thompson Sales. Our dedicated service department will be happy to help diagnose your wayward battery light and recommend a solution. Looking for a new or used vehicle? We can help with that too! You can take a look at our online inventory 24/7, or stroll through our lot while we service your car.

Posted in Car Maintenance