The converter is, by far, the most underrated part of your car.

The battery often gets the full credit for running on electricity. But it is the unannounced variable that serves as the car’s generator, powering your car’s most important functions, including headlights, heating and cooling systems, and even the radiator itself. In fact, nothing in your car that uses electricity would be working properly without this reliable component.

The converter consists of two main parts: a stator, a rotor, and a moving belt. The applied voltage in the rotor creates a magnetic field. When the rotor rotates inside the stator, that moving field creates an inductive voltage in the stator windings, և the voltage charges your battery և it powers all the circuits, says Timothy Hatcher, director of maintenance operations at the Automobile Maintenance և Repair Association.

These moving parts inside the alternator go through the bell every time you turn the key to start your car, և sometimes they break. Here’s how to put one together for use with your variable.

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Bad modifier warning signs

Because of the capacity of the converter, it is necessary to look for signs that it may deteriorate to avoid possible failures. According to Hatcher, there are two main problems that can occur with the generator.

Symptoms of low charge or no output variable are usually quite obvious.

  • You see a message or warning light, such as a battery light on your panel, indicating a charging problem.
  • You’ll notice that your dashboard lights go out, or your headlights light up when you accelerate, but then dim when you stop.
  • Your battery is depleted when the car is parked.
  • The car does not even try to move or “turn over”.

Overcharging occurs when the variable shrinks from the inside out and exerts too much voltage. Here are some symptoms in this case.

  • If your car’s battery is equipped with a voltmeter, you will notice that it shows a very high voltage of 15 volts or more.
  • Your lights can be especially bright when your engine speed is increasing (they just will not dim, as they can at low charge).
  • You hear a loud bang under the hood. Occasionally, heat or dirt can cause small bearings or bushes to wear out and eventually collapse, allowing the rotor to rotate smoothly inside the stator. The resulting voice will immediately tell you that something is wrong.

What if your alternative is bad?

If you suspect a generator problem, the first step is to check the snake belt. If it is worn or loose, you may hear a squeaking noise when you first start the car և the generator will not work properly, although the modifier itself may be fine. The mechanic can easily replace the belt.

You also want to check the battery. Because the battery operates with the variable as part of the car charging system, it is common to misdiagnose a bad battery as a battery problem. Here’s a way to make sensible predictions. If you know that you did not turn on the light և you are able to charge the battery, it could be a sign that the battery is OK և the modifier is to blame. Ask a service technician to check your charging system to make sure it is faulty.

Most importantly, says Hatcher, if you think there may be a problem, do not wait for it to be checked. The wrong variable can quickly drain և shorten the life of a perfectly good battery. The opposite is true. A bad battery can cause the charger to charge more than it should, which can wear out the generator. If one of these two parts fails, it is not uncommon to have to replace both.

“And you know what that means,” says Hatcher. “Bigger repair bill.”

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By Rod O’Connor