by Pat Goss
So you have an electrical or electronics problem with your modern car and you’re talking to a repair shop. How do you know if it’s the right repair shop for that type of repair? They may be good for all sorts of things, but they may not know about electricity.
Well, a couple of the key words you can look out for is a technician or service writer talking to you about fire. Well, electricity is not fire or they may talk to you about juice. Well, electricity is not juice either. See there are three basic terms as far as electricity is concerned. They are voltage, amperage, and resistance.
Now, let’s use a garden hose to visualize what these terms would mean. OK, now voltage is pressure. So in your garden hose what that would amount to is how much force the water is coming out of the end with. Now, as far as amperage, is concerned, amperage is volume or with a garden hose, gallons per minute, so that would be related to how much water is coming out. Resistance. Well, resistance opposes current flow. And to visualize that with the garden hose what we do is we put our thumb over the end of it and we see that the volume goes way down, but the force the amount of water coming out is smaller but we can shoot it clear across the yard. That’s resistance. So those are the three terms, and those are the terms that the technician has to know. So if they don’t know the basics, maybe they don’t have the right equipment. They have to have specialized equipment for modern cars, equipment that won’t damage the sophisticated electronics and that can happen very easily with wrong equipment. So, shop wisely before you let somebody dig into the electrical system of your car. And if you have a question or comment drop me a line right here at MotorWeek.