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Car Electrical Components – Know Your Car Electrical Systems

About Car Electrical Components: As you may know, modern cars feature various electrical systems for not only safety and efficiency but also for comfort. These parts are the nervous system equivalent of your car, making each part work smoothly. If you are a DIYer like me, knowing your car’s electrical components can help you troubleshoot and repair different problems. 

What Is the Process of Electrical System in a Car?

While you may be aware, your car’s electrical system follows a certain path to make sure your car runs smoothly. According to my research, the process starts when you use your ignition key to turn on your car.

In so doing, you activate your car battery, which powers your starter motor.  On powering the motor, it spins, thereby spinning the engine crankshaft and making it start your car engine. 

When the engine starts, your car’s electrical systems carry power and information to different components, making them work as intended. Your car engine also drives the alternator to produce more consistent power.

This alternator recharges your battery while taking over power supply work from it, ensuring steady component powering. In these electrical systems, fuses, fusible links, and breakers protect your circuits from excessive current.

Staring a car engine

Staring a car engine

What Are the Components of Your Car’s Electrical Systems?

Although batteries, alternators, starter motors, and ignition systems are also electrical systems, we won’t discuss them because they are obvious. Let’s look at the most vital components, which vary with the make and model of your car.

Engine control Unit (ECU)

Your car ECU helps manage and control various engine functions to ensure performance, efficiency, and emission control. For example, it receives data from transmission sensors, which help it make engine adjustments such as injection and ignition timings.

Ant-Lock Brake System (ABS) Module

The ABS module prevents your car wheels from locking up when you brake hard or when your tire traction is compromised. ABS includes sensors, valves, and controllers that ensure uncompromised stability and steering control for enhanced safety during emergency braking.

Airbag Control Module

In the event your car gets into a collision, your ACM manages the use of airbags and other restraint systems like seatbelt pretensioners. It acts on input from crash and seat sensors that detect seat occupancy, seatbelt usage, and impact magnitude.

Powertrain Control Module (PCM)

Your PCM controls the functions of the gearbox, engine, gear shift, and torque converter lockup in automatic cars. On receiving sensor data, it makes real-time changes to fuel injection timing, air-fuel ratio, and other functions for optimized performance.

An engine control unit

An engine control unit

Climate Control Module

This car computer controls the heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems to ensure you get the desired climate in your car. It regulates your cabin climate, airflow, air quality, and temperature to ensure comfort and visibility.

Infotainment System

Your car’s Infotainment system features multimedia components that give you information, connectivity, and entertainment. They include screens, buttons/knobs, navigation systems, radio, audio input, hands-free devices, and other systems to enhance your driving experience.

Sensors and Actuators

Now you see all the computers we have discussed above get information and data from actuators and sensors. You place these devices strategically to collect information and feed the computers so that they can direct involved parts appropriately.

What Are the Components of the Electric Cars Electrical System?

While each type of electric car has its components, they are common in most cars.

Traction Battery Pack

It is a rechargeable battery pack that powers your car inverter while storing DC Power. It also helps the car generate electricity to drive your traction motor when you input the drive command.

Power Inverter or Controller

As you may have noted, we said that the battery pack stores power as a DC. However, the traction motor needs an AC to function. Therefore, the power inverter work is to convert direct current to alternating current to drive the traction motor. In addition, the device is bidirectional also converting AC to DC to charge the battery through regenerative braking.

A car power inverter

A car power inverter


Another vital component in your electric car is the controller, which regulates power from the battery pack to the inverter. When you press the pedal, the controller sends signals to ask for a certain amount of power from the inverter. Your electric car then uses this power to drive the traction motor accordingly, determining its speed.

Traction Motor

The Motor is your electric car dynamo that drives the transmission and, by extension, the wheels. Most electric cars use brushless DC traction motors with an rpm of 18000, which determines the performance of your car.


Your electric car charger’s main work is to charge your battery pack when it drains. Here, we have onboard and offboard charges that use AC PLN electricity to convert to DC for storage in your battery pack.


Like in gas-powered cars, the electric car transmission also transfers rotational power from your traction motor to the wheels.

DC Converter

Your electric car DC convertor is a complementary device that converts high current DC voltage to small current one. Doing so helps power devices requiring low voltage without burning them while ensuring a stable power supply.

Auxiliary Battery

It is an additional battery or backup battery for powering accessories such as wipers, alarms, and other devices in your electric car.

Car Electrical Components: Thermal Cooling System

Thermal cooling is typically a system that ensures optimum operating temperatures for your car components, such as the traction motor. As you may know, the optimum temperature in these devices ensures both efficiency and longevity.

Car Electrical Components: Charger Pot

Connect your car to an external power source through the charger port to charge your battery pack.

Car Electrical Components:  Charging an electric car

Charging an electric car

How to Recognize Electrical Issues in a Vehicle

If you want to see electrical issues before they worsen, I recommend checking these signs.

  • Your vehicle does not start properly and includes only a clicking noise on igniting.
  • Sometimes, your car’s electrical component will start to lose power
  • Your car light may also malfunction, e.g., blinking and dimming
  • On inspection, you may also notice blow fuses in the fuse box
  • Something also to check is a strange plastic smell from your vehicle.
  • Lastly, you may notice dysfunctional switches, a dead battery, and the check engine light.

How Can I Prevent Electrical Problems in My Car?

To prevent electrical problems in your car, follow my recommendations below.

  • First, you must inspect your car regularly for any signs of damage and repair them early. You must have a regular checking routine to catch issues before they worsen.
  • Then, try never to overload any of your components, as this may result in overheating and damage.
  • Another tip is to turn off any component you are not using to prevent power strain in your system. You can also unplug devices you do not require to prevent draining your battery.
  • Lastly, always get technician help with problems you can’t fix, instead of worsening them by trying to fix them.


I believe you now know your various car components, whether you have an electric or ordinary car. As a thumb rule, ensure you identify any issues and address them promptly to keep your car safe and optimal.

I am Lillian Yang, having been a sales manager for over 10 years.

I have received many positive reviews from customers. They have praised our excellent service, on-time delivery, and high-quality cable assemblies.

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