What does the alternator voltage regulator do?alternator regulator

The alternator voltage regulator is an essential component of a vehicle’s charging system. Its primary function is to regulate the output voltage of the alternator, ensuring that the electrical system receives a steady and appropriate level of electrical power.

Your car’s alternator is responsible for generating electrical power while the engine is running. It converts mechanical energy from the engine into electrical energy, which is used to charge the battery and power the electrical components of the vehicle.

The voltage regulator monitors the electrical system’s voltage and adjusts the output of the alternator accordingly.

In modern vehicles, the voltage regulator is often integrated into the vehicle’s powertrain control module (PCM) or engine control unit (ECU). If the voltage regulator malfunctions, it can lead to issues such as undercharging, overcharging, or inconsistent voltage levels, which can affect the performance of the electrical system and potentially cause damage to electrical components.

Symptoms of a faulty alternator regulator:

Undercharging of a car battery

A symptom of an issue with the alternator voltage regulator is the car battery going flat.

One-third of alleged battery faults are simply flat batteries caused by vehicle undercharging or leaving lights on. Breakdown surveys by the Automobile Association consistently indicate that drivers leaving electrical accessories on, charging system faults (such as a faulty alternator voltage regulator), and poor battery maintenance are the major causes of battery problems.

Overcharging of a car battery

An alternator voltage regulator should keep the battery voltage below 15 volts DC while it is charging. If it goes above 15 volts your car can start to blow headlight and other bulbs, and damage can occur to sensitive electronic car components.

The potential sign that your battery is being overcharged is that your battery terminals keep accumulating a form of corrosion.

Overcharging is charging beyond the time necessary to fully charge the battery or conducted at an excessive rate in amps for the particular battery. It produces erosion and corrosion of the positive material and causes the internal battery grids to fracture reducing their ability to carry the current to start the car.

Overcharging is usually associated with high battery electrolyte temperatures resulting in rapid deterioration of the car battery internal plates and separators. Overcharging may cause buckling of the internal battery plates leading to perforation of the separators and internal short circuits.

Intermittent charging of car battery

Sometimes the alternator voltage regulator can work intermittently due to failing components, or poor internal connections. This may mean sometimes your alternator will charge your car battery, and other times it may randomly not charge your car battery.

Alternator voltage regulator repair and replacement in Hamilton

voltage regulator

Does your car have an alternator voltage regulator or alternator problem? If so, we can help!

At Grimmer Motors, our team of skilled, honest mechanics can repair or replace your car’s alternator or voltage regulator for you. This will get rid of annoying dashboard lights, and keep your car battery charging correctly to allow your car to start every time without an issue.

Alternator issues are often difficult to diagnose. This is because similar signs can be attributed to a dead battery or faulty starter motor. At Grimmer Motors, our team of mechanics uses advanced diagnostics tools to detect alternator faults, meaning we get things right the first time.

For alternator servicing, replacement and more in Hamilton, contact Grimmer Motors today


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