Do You Know How Your Alternator Works?

Knowing about your car might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to take too much effort. If you learn just a little bit every week or two, eventually you’ll have a working basic knowledge. This can help you spot problems before they compound over time. To help you with this, we’ll tell you about how one of your car’s parts, the alternator, works.

What does it do?


alternator-150x150Your alternator supplies your battery and electronics with power. If your battery only worked on its own, it wouldn’t last more than a few minutes; it needs the alternator to stay charged. It does this by converting the kinetic energy that it gets from your engine into electricity.

How does it work?

Comprised of 3 basic parts (rotor, stator & diode), the alternator creates alternating current from kinetic energy, then converts that into direct current to power your battery and electronics. The rotor, made of magnets, spins incredibly fast inside the stator, a mass of copper wires. This creates electricity (as alternating current, or AC) via electromagnetism. The diode then turns AC into direct current (DC) to power the battery and electronics.

So, now that you know how your alternator works, you’ll know what the problem might stem from if your electronics/battery stop working. Hopefully now you feel a little more informed regarding your vehicle. If you need to take advantage of any of our transmission repair services, come by our shop or give us a call. You can reach us at (310) 672-8131.