Most car owners are not aware that they can upgrade their vehicle’s alternator. The factory-installed alternator is designed to meet the basic amperage requirements of a classic car.
However, modern vehicles require more power for cooling systems, heated seats, power windows and gates, navigation systems, and compressors, necessitating installing a high output alternator.
How Does It Work?
A factory-installed alternator generates adequate power for basic functions such as audio, ignition, and lights. However, under heavy load, this alternator type tends to overheat, damaging itself and the battery.
A high output alternator boasts the car’s amperage within the electrical system. It turns faster than a traditional alternator to supply adequate amps to the battery when the vehicle is in use. As a result, a high output alternator helps prolong the car battery life while allowing additional accessories such as a heavy-duty sound system and extra lights.
Types of High Output Alternators
High output alternator types vary depending on car type, purpose, and power requirements. The three common types of high output alternators are as follows;-
Required For All Functions
Also known as a specialty designed alternator, this type is designed to generate power adequate to run all car systems and applications without the risk of getting overheated.
Selecting an all-function alternator depends on your car type and functions. Different companies produce different all-function alternator models as per your vehicle’s amperage requirements.
Required For Audio
These models are designed to meet all your audio requirements. As you upgrade your vehicle’s sound system, the audio output increases, consequently raising the power requirements.
A traditional alternator generates up to 16amps, ideal for powering 100watts of audio. Therefore, any audio system requiring more than 100watts needs a high output alternator upgrade.
Required For Applications
Any car upgrade, be it from manual doors and windows to electric or lights upgrade and addition, increases your power requirements. High output alternators required for applications are designed to provide the extra amperage needed for the upgrade.
Parts of High Output Alternator
High output alternators are created for extremely demanding environments, with each of its parts designed to withstand huge currents and heat. Its heavy-duty diodes and wires generate and handle massive currents and heat.
These alternators are fitted with heat-resistant parts to prolong their durability. Also, they contain chrome-plated compartments, further enhancing their protection against harsh conditions such as overheating. High output alternators require a wiring harness to bear with the increased power output and different amp alternators to aid in high amperage generation.
Signs of Alternator Failure
Regularly check on your operator to ensure it is functioning correctly. Some of the standard features of alternator malfunction include;
- Dim lights
- Loud noises from the vehicle
- Hitches with the sound system
Pros and Cons
High output alternators come with the following benefits and drawbacks;-
- Generate extra amperage
- Prolong battery life
- Allow for off-road travel
- The initial cost of installation is high
- Larger alternators not compatible with most vessels
A high output alternator comes in handy when you want to upgrade your vehicle’s power output. The type you select will depend on your car type and functions. You need to regularly check on your alternator and be aware of a malfunctioning alternator’s indicators.