|Electrical System Components
|Alternator, Battery, Lighting, Solenoid
Once the engine is running, the alternator provides electrical current to recharge the battery and power the electrical system. The alternator is driven by the engine's crankshaft and produces alternating current (AC) which is then fed through a rectifier bridge to convert it to the direct current (DC) required by the electrical system. A voltage regulator controls the output of the alternator to maintain a consistent voltage (approx. 14.5 volts) in the electrical system regardless of load.
The lead-acid battery is the core of the electrical system, providing current to the ignition system to start the engine as well as delivering supplemental current when the alternator can't handle high electrical system loads and acting as an electrical reservoir for excessive current.
The lighting system consists of interior lights, instrument panel lighting, headlights, and taillights. Like household electrical circuits, the vehicle's lighting system is protected from current spikes by fuses and circuit breakers.
The cylindrical solenoid is a relay that safely connects the high amperage battery to the starter motor when the ignition key is turned. This current then allows the engine to turn at a high enough speed to start.