Ground in a Car Circuit

  • Thread starter Drakkith
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  • #1
Drakkith
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Why is everything in the electrical system in a car connected to ground, along with the battery? Is it just a convenient way to complete the circuit for everything without using many more wires?
 

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  • #2
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That's what ground is, ground is the place you connect everything to. Most electrical systems have a ground that everything connects too.

There are some exceptions, and those occur when having a single common ground is infeasible, (for example, the power grid can't make a ground that spans the nation).
 
  • #3
Drakkith
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That's what ground is, ground is the place you connect everything to. Most electrical systems have a ground that everything connects too.

There are some exceptions, and those occur when having a single common ground is infeasible, (for example, the power grid can't make a ground that spans the nation).
Why isn't the return connected straight back to the battery through wires instead of everything being grounded to chassis? Is there some reason everything needs to be connected to a single ground? The circuit simply needs to be completed for current to flow, so I don't see why everything is connected to ground other than for convenience.
 
  • #4
AlephZero
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Why isn't the return connected straight back to the battery through wires instead of everything being grounded to chassis? Is there some reason everything needs to be connected to a single ground? The circuit simply needs to be completed for current to flow, so I don't see why everything is connected to ground other than for convenience.
Why would you want to use twice as many wires as you need to, and also go to the trouble of insulating every electrical component from the metal frame that it is attached to?

It isn't so much about "convenience" as "practical engineering" and "cost reduction".

The only time you would want to use a separate return wire is when a low electrical noise level is important, but that is irrelevant for things like lights, A/C fans, etc.
 
  • #5
Drakkith
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Why would you want to use twice as many wires as you need to, and also go to the trouble of insulating every electrical component from the metal frame that it is attached to?

It isn't so much about "convenience" as "practical engineering" and "cost reduction".

The only time you would want to use a separate return wire is when a low electrical noise level is important, but that is irrelevant for things like lights, A/C fans, etc.
Ah ok, I see now. Thanks both of you!
 

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