The principle role of an alternator is to generate electricity for the various functions in a car. Modern cars consume a significant amount of electricity making so impossible to store all of it in a battery. If no electricity was being generated by your Porsche alternator, the battery would run flat in no time and your car would stall. With an alternator, your Porsche has inexhaustible electrical power that is available for all the electrical functions of the car. But how do alternators work? We give you a detailed look of the components of am alternator and how it works.
Components Of An Alternator
A typical alternator in your car has a stator which consists of a set of wire coils winded up. Inside this stator is a rotor which revolves by the action of the serpentine belt. When the belt moves, it causes the rotor to revolve and this action generates electricity which is then fed into the battery. This electrical current is what is then used to play any audio system that you might have in the car, operate headlights, air conditioning and most of the other functions you would typically find in a modern car.
How The Alternator Works
The current that the alternator produces is alternating current or AC. Alternating current flows in two directions and thus cannot be stored or used by the car’s electrical system. For the power to be usable, the current has to be converted to direct current (DC) so it can be stored in the car battery. Modern alternators have a set of diodes which convert this AC to DC for use and storage.
Alternators also have a device that regulates the flow of power to the battery to ensure that the power supplied is neither too little nor too much. These diodes and power regulator can either be inside your Porsche alternator or mounted externally on the alternator.
Detecting Faulty Alternators
A faulty alternator has the potential to bring your car to a complete standstill so it will be a very noticeable problem. Usually, if the alternator is not charging the battery properly, you will see the battery light on your dash board display to warn you that your car is not generating enough electric power. In some models, the ALT indicator will light up on the dashboard to indicate the same fault. If the alternator fails suddenly (as would happen if the belt that turns it broke) then the car’s electrical systems would fail and the car would come to a complete halt. Typically however, alternators fail gradually.
Gradual indicators of a bad alternator include flickering or dim lights, failing electrical components like the radio or air conditioning system or burning rubber smell that would suggest that the belt that rives the alternator is worn out and will eventually affect the alternator itself. If you detect any one of these signs, have your alternator and belt looked at before they fail completely.
The alternator is a critical component of your Porsche that keeps your car electrical system running. Although it doesn’t need regular changing, knowing how it works and the signs of a failing alternator could save you from a stalled car.