Monthly Archives: June 2019

What Does an Alternator Do?

What does an Alternator do? Quick answer is it powers the electrical system of your car or truck any time the engine is running. It is NOT a battery charger! The battery is the anchor of the electrical system and is primarily used to start the engine. Secondly it acts as a buffer, if you will against voltage spikes and other electrical interference. The alternator will charge a battery but is only intended to replace the energy lost during start up. Using it to charge a dead battery will strain the system and shorten the life of the alternator. Along with bringing the battery back to full charge after start up, the alternator powers all the other loads on the car. It will vary the voltage and amperage as loads change to maintain the battery and power things such as Air Conditioning, Power Seats and Fuel Systems on modern cars. The Alternator must be able to keep up with all the loads on the car without drawing anything from the battery. It is not hard to see that there is more need fo ... read more

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