What generates most of the electricity in your vehicle is not the battery, but the alternator. The alternator transforms mechanical energy into electrical energy. It sends power to essential parts of your vehicle like the headlights, the engine fan, ignition coils and various parts of the fuel injection system. It powers non-essential, but still very important parts like the radio and air conditioning system.
It’s important to have your alternator checked regularly because it’s not always readily apparent when it fails. It can fail in stages and even when it goes completely, your battery will take over for a short period of time. The starter does the opposite of the alternator. It changes electrical energy into mechanical energy. The starter uses the electricity from the battery to start the crankshaft turn, and that gets your car going.
The electrical systems of today’s cars are complex. Your alternator, starter, ignition and battery are all crucial to your cars performance and, more importantly, its safety. More and more of today’s vehicles are being controlled by onboard computers. The electrical system is more important than ever.