The alternator: a “generator” under the hood
For a car to work, several parts and systems must work in perfect harmony. For example, the battery, which starts the engine, cannot provide all the energy needed to drive it over a long distance. That’s why the alternator, a kind of generator that takes over from the battery, is indispensable!
Activated by a belt driven by the engine, this part generates about 14 volts and up to 180 amps. Its rotation speed is impressive to say the least: depending on the type of engine, it can rotate at up to 20,000 times per minute, or even more!
Specifically, the alternator starts to generate electricity from the battery, which gives it its initial “boost. In the blink of an eye, the rotor (moving part) and stator (stationary part) generate magnetic energy. The diode bridge then collects this energy and transforms it into direct current. Finally, the regulator – the brain of the alternator – controls and regulates the voltage created.
When your car’s alternator is faulty, the battery can run down at any time. So, if the battery symbol on your dashboard lights up, make an appointment to your Mister Muffler repair shop for an inspection!