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.Learn More
When an engine knocks, one of the likely causes is low-quality fuel. Fuel of low quality or a low octane rating results in many different problems in the engine. This fuel rating informs the consumer of the amount of compression gasoline is able to tolerate. According to HowStuffWorks, these problems are why high-performance engines require higher-octane fuel to prevent knocks.Full Answer >
A pinion bearing is a mechanical element that constrains the movement of a pinion, a gear with a small number of teeth. Pinion bearings are a common part of automotive differentials. These are devices that allow cars to corner better by allowing connected wheels to rotate at different speeds.Full Answer >
One of the most common causes of a check engine light on the Ford Taurus is the failure of an oxygen sensor. Bankrate says this was the most common car repair in 2013, accounting for 7.55 percent of all repairs. A failed oxygen sensor often robs a vehicle of fuel economy by as much as 40 percent. Common causes of failure include use of E-85 fuel and engines burning oil.Full Answer >
The check gauges light on a vehicle indicates that a malfunction has occurred and the vehicle needs to be inspected, serviced or repaired. A check engine or check gauges light can indicate a loose fuel cap, low engine oil, an overheated engine temperature or a malfunction in the engine or electrical system.Full Answer >