The car alternator is a very important auto part which must be working at all times for you to properly drive your vehicle. A car alternator (previously known as a generator) is responsible for providing your car's electrical system with power. The alternator is capable of delivering power to many smaller devices in your car. Even though no major parts of your vehicle can be powered by your alternator, you'll still need to repair it if you run into any issues.
Power Output and what it Powers
A car alternator (essentially an AC generator) contains diodes which can exert 12-14 volts DC. This is definitely not a large output, and when converted to watts it’s even more noticeable, but it's still effective. Your car alternator powers various electrical components in your vehicle including power sunroofs, built-in DVD players, heated seats, and much more.
Your car alternator must perform well or else it won't be capable of supplying power to any power demanding devices. It's becoming more common for people to invest in high power alternators, and those exceeding one hundred amps are becoming more popular.
What to Expect when Repairing an Alternator
No matter what issue you might have with your car, it's always stressful whenever something isn't working properly. If you ever have an issue with your car alternator, don't worry too much. Fixing an alternator is similar to fixing a generator, and you usually don't need to install a new unit. There are two different sections of the alternator unit which combine to function properly. If you ever have alternator problems, you can identify which part is causing it and just replace that part of the unit.
The two parts that make up the unit are the stator and rotor. While you may have to replace at least one of these when you run into alternator problems, sometimes you won't have to replace either part. If your alternator isn’t producing a high output of power, the cause may be related to your fan belt or diodes. If so, you won't have to invest in replacing a major part of the alternator.
Low Output Problems
This is definitely one of the most common alternator issues. If your alternator isn't supplying enough power throughout your vehicle, there could be two different things that are likely causing this. Your diodes may be functioning improperly, or your fan belt may be slipping. It's essential that your fan belt is tight and isn’t slipping as it can easily lead to serious problems with your car alternator.
Safety Tips when Fixing an Alternator
Repairing an alternator isn't necessarily difficult but you have to be careful when in contact with the unit as it can be damaged easily. The main issue that could result from tampering with your car alternator is reverse polarity harming the diodes. If this does occur for even one second, it's possible that the diodes get burnt out. One way to further help prevent the diodes from burning out is to only work with insulated tools when operating near the alternator.
It's not suggested that any amateur attempts to fix their car's alternator, but if you have some experience with mechanical work, it shouldn't be too difficult to work on an alternator with some direction. You can easily find a selection of guides on how to discover your car alternator problems and how to fix them. Take a look online for helpful information if you need to resolve an alternator problem with your car. Alternatively, if you don't think you can safely work with your car alternator, seek a professional mechanic for the job.
Many people don’t ever give too much thought to their car battery or their alternator, that is, until the alternator goes out. This is when many people learn that there is an unavoidable car battery alternator connection. The connection is one that you cannot get around because without an alternator you will find that you don't have a battery that works. Many people are surprised to hear this because it has been said a million times that the battery is the heart of the electrical system of your vehicle. While this is true, the system all has to be working for the battery to work correctly.
So, what exactly is the car batter alternator connection? It's simple, actually. The car batter alternator connection works because the alternator is quite simply the device that is responsible for producing the electricity that your vehicle needs to run as well as to keep the battery charged. The alternator does this by producing electricity through electromagnetic induction, which produces voltage and current. The alternator needs to keep the voltage between 13.5 and 14.5 for optimal power conditions but if the voltage goes up over 14.5 volts the battery will stop working properly in a hurry.
The car batter alternator connection doesn't exist without a properly working alternator. An alternator is actually made up of four different marts which are the rotor, the stator, the diode pack, and a Voltage regulator. If one of these parts is not working properly the alternator will stop working and the car battery alternator connection will also fail. These four parts of the alternator are small and seemingly insignificant, but they are major players in how your vehicle works.
The rotor of the alternator is the magnet that rotates inside of copper wire that are around a core of iron within the alternator, this iron core is actually the stator that was mentioned above. As the rotor spins inside of the stator the magnetic lines cut through the copper wire which creates voltage. This is the voltage that goes to the battery, hence making the car battery alternator connection.
What may interest you is that this current that is created is an AC current and your vehicle runs on a DC current. The diode pack has the job of converting the AC current to a DC current. The diode is an electrical one way check valve that lets the current flow in the desired direction only. Essentially the AC current goes in one side of the diode pack and the DC current comes out the other side to be used by the vehicle.
The voltage regulator comes into play now. Now that we have a DC current something needs to control the current. The voltage regulator keeps the voltage within that safe range where the vehicle will get enough power, but not too much where the battery will be ruined in short order.
When you look at the car battery alternator connection you soon realize that while this is actually a straight forward connection, there are also a lot of things that can go wrong. If even one part of the main four parts of the alternator are not working properly the connection is lost and the vehicle will not start or the battery will simply be depleted quickly, which will also cause the car to die. In short, this car battery alternator connection is one of the most important connections in the car because without it, your vehicle wouldn't have the power that it needs to turn on, let alone make its way down the road to get you from point A to point B.