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AUTOMOTIVE ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT ANALYSIS 24 module EC1 AUTOMOTIVE ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT ANALYSIS • Combines characteristics of series and parallel circuits • Some components are in series and others are in parallel • Power source, control and protection devices are normally in series • Loads are normally in parallel EC1-38 • • • Current in the series section equals sum of parallel branch circuits Total circuit resistance equals parallel resistance plus series resistance Voltage applied to the parallel portion equals applied source voltage minus voltage drop across series portion EC1-39 SERIES-PARALLEL CIRCUITS Normally in a series-parallel circuit, the power source, control and protection devices are in series and the loads are in parallel.

Series Circuit A series circuit has only one path for the current to flow. All the components are connected in-line. The same amount of current will flow through each component but the voltage will drop as current flows through each load device. If an open occurs anywhere in the path there will be no current flow. An example of a series circuit would be the old type of christmas tree lights. When one bulb burns out or is removed, the rest of the lights go out also. A common example of an automotive series circuit is the cigarette lighter.

Electronic Control Unit (ECU) - Often referred to as “the computer”, these units are nothing more than sophisticated switches. Like any other switching device, an ECU can be the control device in ground or power controlled circuits. Other Types of Devices • Solenoid An electromagnet with a moveable core that is pulled into the coil • Diode A semiconductor device that allows current to flow in only one direction • Capacitor Can store a small charge which can be released when needed to make a current flow for a short period EC1-7 Solenoid - An electromechanical device that utilizes a small amount of current to energize an electromagnet that closes the contacts in a circuit carrying a higher amount of current.

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