Alternator Testing and Replacement
The alternator is used for charging the battery. It also supplies current to all electrical consumers when the engine is running. The alternator is a three phase AC generator, which uses diodes to rectify the alternating current, or AC to direct current, or DC. The alternator has to create enough voltage and current to charge the vehicle battery and supply the electrical loads with the engine running. It has been found that a battery can receive a greater charge when the electrolyte is cold. So it would be advantageous to vary the alternator output depending on ambient conditions. By using the output from the ambient air temperature sensor, the intake air temperature sensor and the engine coolant temperature sensor the engine control unit can estimate the battery temperature. The engine control unit can vary the current flow through the alternator field winding which results in a variable output. The control unit can reduce the alternator output under certain conditions to reduce the load on the engine.
The experts at Hollenshade’s in Towson can address any problems you may experience with your vehicle’s charging system. Please CONTACT US for an appointment or to ask us a question about alternator testing or replacement.