Your engine runs on air, fuel and a spark. The spark is basically the centre of it all, and for that we need electricity. Your battery supplies electricity, but only enough to get you a little way down the road. We need more. That's where the alternator comes in.
The alternator continually charges the battery so that we never have to worry about that whole "running out of juice" problem. Your battery is 12 volts, but to keep the battery 100% charged and run all of your car's electricals at the same time, the alternator has an output of between 13.5 and 14.8 volts.
When the alternator belt or V-belt spins the pulley on the alternator, the rotor inside the alternator spins fast. The rotor is basically a magnet or group of magnets that spin, with all that speed, inside a nest of copper wires. The next step in the chain is a diode assembly that changes the electricity from AC to DC current that your battery can use. There is a final step in the chain, the voltage regulator. In modern alternators, this is a built-in component. The voltage regulator is basically a gatekeeper that will shut off the flow of juice to your battery if the voltage goes above a certain level, this keeps your battery from getting overcharged and cooked.
Essentially, the alternator provides a current to recharge your battery when the motor is running. So, if your battery is flat, it could even be an issue with your alternator and not just your car battery.
Specifically, the alternator transforms mechanical energy into electrical energy. It sends power to essential parts of your vehicle like the headlights, the engine fan, ignition coils and various parts of the fuel injection system.
It is important to have your alternator regularly checked.
Autospark offers a range of replacement Alternators for your vehicle from some of the world's best names, backed with the best in diagnostics and years of experience, we can offer you the right advice and product you can trust – whether it's a reconditioned alternator, an alternator repair or a brand new alternator.
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