What does the alternator or generator do? It charges the battery and powers the electrical components in cars that have combustion engines.

How Does the Alternator Work?

The alternator is a spinning mechanism bolted to the engine block that connects to the engine's main crankshaft by a belt.

When the engine is running, the crankshaft spins the alternator wheel connected to a rotor magnet. The rotor magnets spin around the inside of the alternator in the vicinity of a copper stator surrounding it. The moving magnets close to the copper create an AC charge.

The AC charge created by the alternator must then be converted into a DC charge by a rectifier bolted onto the outside of the alternator, and the charge is maintained at a steady output voltage by a regulator before being sent to charge the car's battery.

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