Alternator & Charging System:
Alternator: It functions as the heart of the charging system.It produces alternating current(AC), which is converted to Direct Current(DC) by a six diode rectifier.Thus alternator generates the power required to keep the battery fully charged and to operate every electrical unit inside a vehicle.
The alternator’s charging output increases proportionally to the electrical load on the charging system and the engine speed.
Symptoms that you can watch to detect any alternator problems:-
- Alternator fails to charge (Indicator light may be on)
- Low Charging Rate (Battery may be running down)
- Excessive charging rate (Battery may have water level low)
- Battery fails to holds charge (or battery may be dead)
- Alternator Noise
High temperatures under the hood are hard on alternators and high electrical load creates more heat. To control this heat, the alternator is equipped with a fan that keeps it cool.
if the alternator is working hard under a heavy load at low RPM especially during hot weather, there may not be enough cooling to prevent the overheating and this excessive heat can damage the wiring connections and/or windings inside the unit,causing to fail.
Alternator Diode Failure:
Failure of one or more diodes in the alternator is yet another common cause of the charging system problems which will reduce the alternator’s ability to produce current.
Loose alternator mounting bolts and brackets can cause vibrations and may damage the alternator.A bad belt tensioner can be another source of damaging vibrations.
The alternator may need to be rebuilt or replaced if
- alternator bearing failure occurs or
- a bad diode that is allowing the current to flow in wrong direction
Note: Idling for long period with the lights,heater,defrosters ,radio etc ON can pull more current out of the battery than the charging system can put back to it.You may may think some problem with the charging system but there may be nothing wrong with the alternator.
For the proper diagnosis of your car’s charging system problems including alternator and battery related issues, the technicians at AlNahdhaAuto, RasAlKhor , Dubai are well experienced to identify the exact cause and provide the most cost effective solution.