books on car electrics

Started by john fotakis CLC#23436, February 18, 2007, 11:27:42 PM

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john fotakis CLC#23436

Hello to all.  Can anybody recommend a book/manual etc. that would help turn a novice ignorant of car electrics into somebody who with study and application can hopefully become fairly competent at diagnosing and treating those gremlins that invariably arise on 100 degree days with young children in the back seat.[ although I did make a good friend recently when I broke down about 100 miles from home, at a bus stop,right in front of a 57 Chev enthusiast who couldnt have been more helpful, despite missing the next 2 or 3 buses. ] Cheers, John

Bill Gauch

Well, I dont have a book to recommend to you, but I can offer some input. First, it depends entirely whether you are talking about a modern car or an old one. Truely "old" cars are purely electrical. As you transition to a modern car, you move from electrical to electronic.

Electrical vs. Electronic are 2 very different things. The first is primarily Volts, Amps, Resistance, etc. The second is more about binary/digital logic and good vs. bad chips. Electrical can usually be repaired. Electronic is usually replaced. Many more distinctions can be made between them.

If you want to understand automotive electronics, you really need a good foundation in general electronics or at least in digital logic. If you want to understand automotive electrical concepts, you will have a much easier time because after you know some basics, you just follow a wiring diagram to find your problems.

One last note, there is another area of electronics, but it doesnt come into play much in cars. Analog electronics would apply to things such as radio restoration and repair. Mostly, any electronic component that is not a "chip" (resistors, capacitors, transformers, etc.) is covered under analog electronics.

john fotakis CLC#23436

Thanks for the reply Bill.  As a first step I was looking into purely old car electrics, mainly getting a good understanding of concepts and their applications to motor cars in particular. Electronics I would possibly leave to a later time. Cheers, John.

Ivan Zanatta

 Hi John, like Bill said, early(pre 80s) and late electrical systems are very different in the way you fault-find variuos systems. I have found that old (30s to 50s) shop manuals  tend to explain basic electrical theory in their "electrical" section, and this stuff applies to any electrical system. It doesnt have to be a specific make, but the American, British etc,are usually pretty good.