Alternator Diagnosis, Replacement, or Repair



Alternator Functions and Basic Operation

The alternator and related systems have two main jobs:  (1) monitor and maintain a consistent charge throughout your electrical system during vehicle operation and (2) recharge the battery to its full capacity while the engine is running.   

The alternator in most cases is driven by the drive belt, which uses the rotation of the crankshaft to turn the pulley on the alternator which created AC voltage. An internal voltage regulator converts the AC voltage to DC voltage as well as diodes for correct current flow and regulation.  


Alternator Malfunction Indicators

A dash indicator such as a battery symbol will illuminate when the electrical current being monitored does not meet the manufacturer's operating specifications.   This error indication most often indicates insufficient recharging voltage being created by the Alternator.  In some cases where the ECM monitors current output a "Check Engine" light may illuminate if a code is set, and may exhibit various drivability concerns.


Alternator Diagnostic & Replacement

Automotive starting & charging systems require the use of diagnostic equipment to test various components in the system to determine point of failure. If the Alternator is found the be the point of failure replacement will be required to resolve concern.