An automotive charging system is made up of three major components: the battery, the voltage regulator, and the alternator. The alternator and battery generate power for your electrical components including headlights and your instrument panel. An alternator gets its name from the term "alternating current." Let Lube-It check yours out today.
Alternators must be connected properly or serious damage with the electronics may occur. Make sure that the battery terminals are properly connected. The negative terminal must be connected to the alternator’s ground. Make sure that the alternator’s pulley always rotates in a clockwise direction and not counterclockwise.
Never short the alternator’s positive post to ground. If the alternator tries to maintain 14.4V across a short, the results could be disastrous. Never short the field coil wire to ground either. This will short out the current in the field coil and cease the alternator.
Steps To Protect Your Alternator
1. Make sure that the alternator turns clockwise.
2. Make sure that the battery’s negative terminal is connected to the alternator’s case.
3. Make sure that the field coil is NOT connected to the battery when the alternator is not in operation. Use a switch to isolate the coil from the battery when not operating the alternator.
4. The field coil must have some kind of resistor connected between it and the battery. Shorting the coil directly to the battery will draw too much current and may destroy the alternator.
5. If the alternator is not generating electricity at system speeds, try using a slightly smaller resistor in series with the field coil to provide more initial current to the field.
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