One of the most common vehicle failures results from the fact that you do not have enough amps to feed the OEM electrical circuit. Though most of them may have some reserve power for smaller accessories, the higher amperage drawn by accessories like audio-system can result in the electrical system being overworked. A simple solution to this? An alternator.

Though the solution sounds simple, choosing the right kind of alternator may be more complex than you think. You need to consider a host of constraints such as whether to get an upgrade, how to get the right size and also how to make sure that you are making the best use of your new alternator. A simple, conventional looking alternator can provide quite a lot of respite from most catastrophes.

Choosing the right kind of alternator: The first step

Any kind of vehicle, whether farm machinery or a general automobile, needs the right alternator to function optimally. Before selecting one, you may want to analyze your requirement. Figure out your vehicle’s’ total load with the help of an ammeter first. Make sure that your engine is turned off and the battery is charged. Connect your ammeter in series with the battery’s ground terminal. Now turn on and off each electrical component while recording their amperage draw. Simply add up the amperage readings and voila! You have your usage.

Choose an alternator that has an output of 50% more than the recorded usage. Alternatively, you can also estimate the electrical load by simply checking the accessory fuses. Though the amp readings are likely to be slightly high, the sum of all readings will give you a general estimate of your vehicle’s electrical load. This information will be instrumental in deciding which alternator to choose.

While choosing the alternator, make sure you go for a good quality high amp alternator. This will also help you gain horsepower. While most alternators can only function at 75% efficiency, higher amp alternators perform better as they recover the lost horsepower by allowing your electrical circuit to run on maximum voltage.

How to get the most out of your alternator

There are many ways that you can extract optimum performance from your new alternator:

  • Choose a charge wire with the right gauge.
  • Make sure that both the alternator belt and the tensioner are in optimal shape
  • Alternators can run just as efficiently in reverse. So if you are crunched on space, you can consider this option.

Remember that though an alternator has many advantages, it is ultimately a bit of a compromise. It simply strikes a balance between the power drawn from the engine and transferring that power to the ignition system to help it perform better. Using the right alternator, you can potentially tilt the engine performance in your favour and create horsepower.

A thousand things can go wrong or be confusing when choosing an alternator or the right accessories for the alternator. Whether it is determining the amp reading, getting the right charge wire, or calibrating a new alternator to perform at an optimum level, OTS Auto Electric can help. Their professional and experienced crew can give you reliable service and excellent customer service and help you with the most optimal solution.