The alternator is a type of electrical generator which is run off a drive belt connected to the crankshaft. When your engine is running, it spins the alternator creating electricity, which is stored in the battery. The voltage regulator keeps a constant check on the battery so the correct amount of charging occurs. While there is really no maintenance involved on an alternator, it's drivebelt does need replacing periodically. Operating a car solely off the power stored in the battery can result in a dead battery within an hour, so it's a good idea to keep an eye on your drive belts. A few precautionary measures can save you lots of time and money.
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