Any modern car with a battery has an alternator. That means there’s an alternator powering every car on earth. As a car owner, it’s important to know a bit about alternators. That’s what this guide is for. Read on to learn all about alternators, how they work, how to replace one, and more.
What is an Alternator and How Does it Work?
An alternator is cylindrical part that serves two big purposes:
- Providing electrical power to the entire car
- Keeping the battery charged
The engine uses the drive belt, or serpentine belt, to power the alternator. Next, the alternator uses the power to:
- Produce an electromagnetic field, creating AC electricity
- Convert the AC electric current to DC electricity
- Pass the DC electric current to the car battery
To read more about alternators and how they work, check out this article: What is an Alternator and Why is it Important?
Should I Upgrade My Alternator?
Wondering if you should upgrade your alternator? It depends on whether your existing alternator is able to keep up with the electrical load on your car. Sometimes when you install additional accessories, your stock alternator will have a hard time keeping up with the increased load. You just need an alternator that puts out a little more amperage.
This article has more information on upgrading your alternator: How to Upgrade Your Mopar Alternator
Is an OEM Alternator Better Than an Aftermarket Alternator?
Our answer to this question is a resounding yes. The alternator is a very important part in your car’s electrical system. Quality should be your number one priority when shopping for a replacement alternator. An OEM alternator is clearly the safer and better choice than an aftermarket alternator because OEM alternators:
- Produce the right amount of electrical energy
- Are backed by a great warranty
- Cost less in the long run
This article explains each point in more detail: Mopar Alternators: OEM or Aftermarket?
How Do I Replace My Alternator?
Whether your existing alternator is broken or unable to keep up with the increased electrical load on your car, you need to replace it. The good news is you can do it at home with a few basic tools and about an hour or two of your time. You can find a full tutorial here.