What Does An Alternator Regulator Do?

  • It supplies current to the rotating part of the alternator.
  • Simple alternators are originally electromechanical devices that switched the field current on and off to control the output voltage of a regulator.
  • Today’s alternator regulators are semiconductor based and the most sophisticated are controlled by embedded computer chips, and they are all externally mounted.

The Voltage Regulator:

  • It limits the maximum voltage in the electrical system.
  • With regulators for the alternator system, voltage limiting is the means of controlling output.
  • If the alternator was allowed to constantly produce all the power it could, system voltage would rise to a damaging level, the battery would overcharge, components would be damaged, and the alternator would soon overheat and burn out.
  • Electronic voltage regulators have replaced the old vibrating point type regulator, and electronic regulators react even faster.
  • With a modern electronic voltage regulator, the voltage at the system will be very consistent.
The battery serves as a big cushion in the system, which also smoothes out voltage levels. The battery prevents major and sudden voltage changes in the system.

The Distributor:

  • It handles several jobs. Its first job is to distribute the high voltage from the coil to the correct cylinder.
  • The distributor is the component that transfers the voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plugs. The distributor is driven by the engine's camshaft.

Modern Ignition Systems:

Newer ignition systems do not have distributors. They have multiple ignition coils, each dedicated to a spark plug or one ignition coil for two spark plugs. The Engine Control Unit (ECU) controls the ignition system.
  • OEX, Bosch, Delco-Remy, Denso, Prestolite, Mitsubishi Electric, Valeo, Magna, Continental, Faurecia, Ford. Mitsuba, Hitachi, Nikko Electric, Lucas, and Iskra are some of the leading brands which you can purchase from your local dealer.


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