Everything you need to know about a car alternator

Even though many people have heard about car alternators, very few really understand what it is. In this guide, we are going break it down into smaller parts. This will enable you understand the real work of these components.

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What is an alternator in a car?

The alternator is made up of tow magnetic coil and rod. These are the parts that work together to ensure your vehicle is efficient. The rod spins with the belt when you turn the ignition on.

A car needs electrical energy to start. But you cannot connect your vehicle on electricity supply for this.

A car engine is made with a mechanism that creates such energy. And that is where the alternator comes in. As seen through the diagram on https://boodmo.com/catalog/3794-alternator/, this is a very important component that charges the battery where the electrical energy is stored.

You may be wondering how the electrical energy is generated. This happens when the alternator rotates with the battery as stated above, converting mechanical energy to electrical foam.

The charging standard for a vehicle needs to be between 13.5 and 14.2 volts when the vehicle is turned on. But this is not so in most cases. This is because there are other variables that affect the function of the alternator. Such parts include air-conditioning, lights and wipers.

Can you tell when an alternator fails

A car alternator, just like any other part of the vehicle can fail. The good news is, you can always tell when the component fails. You don’t have to wait until you are stuck in the middle of nowhere to realize your car cannot start.

It is therefore very important to know when you need to change. There are several ways to do notice this. Consider the following.

  • The alternator light. A car comes with its own system to indicated when there is a problem with any component. An alternator being a vital component, there are ALT lights on the dashboard that will light. It means the alternator is not charging the battery.
  • Check the belt. As stated above, the working of this part depends on the belt rotating. The best can wear and tear due to continued use. It is proper to always check that the belt is in good condition. If need be, change the belt alone and the alternator will resume normal functions.
  • You can always tell when there is an overcharge. Because the energy being produced in the end is electrical, it all appears very abnormal when a there is too much voltage in the battery. Such a condition can be very dangerous. It is advised that you take the car to a mechanic immediately you notice this.
  • The charging lights don’t work. We use the charging lights to know when the vehicle is charging well. But if there is not electrical connection, then the lights will remain off. You need to check this part before proceeding further. Lights are very important indicators in a vehicle. Almost every working component in the engine is dependent on them. So do not ignore.

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Changing or refurbishing?

These are two alternatives to fixing the alternator issue. If you are running low on cash, refurbishing becomes a more affordable option. You don’t always have to buy a new one.

Even though it seems better to buy a new one, you can save a lot of cash with refurbished ones. But for this, you will need a professional.

Every component in a vehicle is important and a car alternator is no different. Always check to ensure it’s working properly before you sleep. Otherwise you will wake up in the morning to call a mechanic and get late for work.

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