Most of the time, the alternator that comes with your vehicle is enough to supply the energy your car needs to function. If your car is old, shows signs of needing repairs, or is currently running a high-power car stereo system, you might want to consider an alternative to your current alternator.
Whenever accessories are added to a car, your car’s electrical system is at risk of not handling the increased amperage and voltage needed to run them. If you find that your current alternator is not powerful enough to support your accessories, it’s time to get a high output alternator.
High-Output Alternators And Vehicle Size
Work trucks and other large vehicles have the upper hand when it comes to high output alternators because they can support the extra amps and voltage and have the space to physically fit a more extensive unit into the vehicle. Smaller cars may not be able to store a high output alternator, let alone support the power they generate.
Does My Work Truck Need A High Output Alternator?
Since your work truck is more significant than a standard economy car, it likely already has an alternator capable of greater power output than a typical stock alternator. While that does mean your truck can handle more accessories and the energy draw that goes with that, it does not mean that your vehicle is immune to overexertion, or the challenges associated with alternator failure.
If you notice that your work truck:
- starts then stalls
- has dimmed lights when music plays
- makes squeaking or whining noises
- gives off odors of burning rubber
- has slow functioning accessories
… you may need a new alternator.
Other Considerations For Needing A High Output Alternator
Even if you have an alternator that you know meets the needs for the specifics of your work truck, remember that alternators fail over time. If you haven’t taken a look at your current alternator in a while, check under the hood and see if a new one is necessary.
If you’ve noticed other signs of repair needs, you might actually need a replacement after all. Look into the alternator amperage and voltage specifications required for your vehicle and any accessories you’re interested in adding before jazzing up your vehicle with new accessories.
The Bottom Line
Respect your alternator and make wise choices to keep your stereo and your engine humming.