What Is A High Output Alternator?


This is a collaborative post.

If you are one of those people who love to modify their car then you might need a high output alternator. Whether it be adding speakers, subwoofers, or additional entertainment system in your vehicle, it will increase the energy your car requires to keep running.

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Different from a stock alternator

Your car comes with an alternator from the factory. But it is designed to meet the minimum requirements to keep the car’s radio, lights and other electrical components running. A high output alternator provides much more amperage than the stock one being replaced.

A standard OEM (Original equipment manufacturer) alternator, which can be found in standard vehicles has an output of 50-80A whereas the energy output a high output alternator can supply may increase depending on what you need.

High output alternators are also made on order, so they are customized to exactly how much energy your car requires. Each alternator has its own installation instructions which are provided by the manufacturer.

How to check if you need a high output alternator?

The formula to calculate your car’s energy needs is simple. A good rule of thumb is that for every 1000 watts you’ll need 100 additional amps plus your car’s basic requirement. The formula is watts/volts = amperes

For example, you plan on adding an entertainment system in your car which has an energy requirement of 3000 watts. Currently your vehicle is capable of outputting 15 volts. You will divide 3000 by 15which gives us 200 amps. If your current alternator output is 90 amps, add 200 amps for a total of 295 amps. 300 amp would be a good number to safely operate your car.

Do your research

Obviously before doing your own calculations, it is best to consult with a mechanic or professional, when installing a new high output alternator. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • How much amperage does your vehicle require?
  • Determine the optimum use of your space
  • Is you vehicle even capable of operating a high output alternator.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions

Once you have bought and installed a high output alternator, it is important to regularly check its performance. Some warning signs can include dim lights, loud noises from the vehicle or your entertainment system not performing correctly. You can find quick guides to checking your alternator online.

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