Transportation Science

How does a car's alternator work?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. A car's alternator supplies the electricity the car needs to keep running. Since the alternator can't produce its own electricity, it turns the mechanical energy produced by the engine's rotating crankshaft into electricity. The alternator is connected to the crankshaft by wires that run through a magnetic field and induce electrical current. This current powers the car's lights, radio and other electric accessories and recharges the battery.

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