Q:

How does an car alternator work?

A:

A car alternator is an aluminum piece of equipment attached to a car engine's crankshaft by a drive belt. When the crankshaft begins turning after the engine is ignited, it rotates the drive belt, which forces the alternator to rotate in response. The movement of the alternator generates magnetic power that is transferred to the car's battery to power lights, windows, locks, air conditioning, the dashboard and the radio.

Alternators are encased in aluminum because the material cannot be affected by the internal magnetization of the alternator and is therefore able to disperse the high amounts of heat that are generated from within the alternator. Modern alternators also have vents on either side and internal cooling fans to further aid in the dissipation of heat. Alternators are connected to several electrical circuits throughout an engine to carry out functions such as sensing battery voltage. The horizontal rotor shaft that the drive belt attaches to is made of iron and runs through the middle of the alternator. It is surrounded by a coil of wires, which are encompassed by a larger outside cylinder that spins when the drive belt begins to move. This spinning action generates magnetic power between the two layers of the cylinder, which is then harnessed and sent through one of the electrical circuits to the battery.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Why would an alternator overcharge?

    A:

    The reasons alternators overcharge include issues with the battery, drive belt, alternator output, external regulator and type of alternator, explains AA1Car.com. Issues with these specific components result in the alternator overcharging the vehicle’s battery and electrical system. When this occurs, the alternator does not operate properly and malfunctions as the source of self-generating electricity.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What happens if your car runs out of coolant?

    A:

    The most common risk associated with running a car engine with low coolant is of overheating, which can rapidly cause breakdowns in any engine part. In the winter, coolant also acts as antifreeze. Too low a concentration of the active ingredient, ethylene glycol, allows the water in the radiator to freeze in low temperatures.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What is the function of a car radiator?

    A:

    The car radiator is responsible for preventing the car engine from overheating. When the engine is in use, it produces a lot of friction and heat, and the radiator uses coolants to keep the engine running at a healthy temperature.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    How does an alternator work?

    A:

    The alternator belt or V-belt is turned by the engine, which spins the rotor. The rotor is a magnet or group of magnets inside copper wires that spins fast to create electricity used to charge the battery.

    Full Answer >

Explore