You may think your battery is powering all things electrical in your car, be it your windshield wipers, headlights or radio. In reality, it’s the car alternator that produces the majority of your vehicle’s electricity — your battery is mainly just used to start your vehicle and provide power when the engine isn’t running. The alternator is a critical component of a car’s charging system, so it’s helpful to understand how it operates in case you have to deal with your car not starting.
What is an alternator?
The alternator is a generator whose purpose is to distribute electricity to the car and recharge the battery. Outside of some hybrid models, all vehicles with a standard internal combustion engine will have an alternator. About the size of a coconut, the alternator is generally mounted to the front of the engine and has a belt running around it.… Read more