What is a vehicle charging system?
A charging system typically contains alternator, drive belt, battery, voltage regulator, and related wiring. After the engine starts, the alternator takes over as the source of power, and the battery then becomes part of the load on the charging system.
How can I tell if the charging system isn't working properly?
Some problems are obvious. If the battery never seems to get charged up, if the headlights are dim, or the radio just seems flaky, there is probably a charging system problem. The most common component failures come from starters, alternators, and batteries. A warning light on the dashboard should come on when there is a problem.
What are my options?
The vehicle can either be taken to a local dealer or repair shop, or a skilled owner may be able to diagnose the problem. There are automotive websites that advertise diagnostic and repair services. Other vendors offer free diagnostic instructions or sell repair manuals and parts online for specific makes and models.