Automotive Dictionary: Alternator

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Automotive Dictionary: Alternator
Throughout this site we use many technical terms, and given the breadth of readership our site enjoys, sometimes we are remiss and incorrectly assume everyone knows what we are referring to. For those that do not, here are some explanations of the technical terms use.


Generator, used in most modern cars, which produces alternating current and then converts it to direct current, as opposed to the dynamo which produces direct current. The alternator produces a higher output than the dynamo at low engine speeds.. A device fitted to the engine to convert mechanical rotational energy into electrical energy. This electrical energy is stored in the battery and used to operate the various electrical functions of the car.
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