As a car owner, you must be aware of the things that can go wrong, as well as the significant issues that may arise, and when it is necessary to have it repaired. The car alternator is one of the components to which you should pay particular attention. It’s one of the most important components that can cause problems when driving. As a result, you should be aware of the issues that may arise with your alternator.
What is the purpose of an alternator?
The alternator is a component of your vehicle that converts mechanical to electrical energy. The truth is that the alternator supplies the energy to run the vehicle, while the battery is solely responsible for powering the vehicle’s electrical systems. The alternator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy, which is stored in the battery, by rotating a pulley. Because your alternator is a generator, you probably don’t want it to get wet.
Is the Alternator in a Car Waterproof?
Alternators in automobiles are NOT waterproof. It’s nearly impossible to waterproof it, given its function. Most alternators are air-cooled, with an internal fan attached to the driving end of the alternator shaft drawing air through the alternator. The non-drive end is sucked in with cool air, while the drive end is sucked out with hot air. However, just because your alternator isn’t waterproof doesn’t mean it can’t withstand water.
The Alternator is Water-Resistant
Because your engine bay is not sealed, your alternator is exposed to water frequently. It is constantly splashed with water. This includes water from the rain, puddles, and directly washing the engine bay. The issue isn’t with splashing water. It’s a pool of water. When you flood it, bad things happen.
It will work if you immerse the alternator. Your alternator’s electrical components are sealed. The issue isn’t what is, but what isn’t. Your alternator’s brass or bronze brushes are oiled to reduce wear and electrical arcing. This lubricant goes away as they get wet. The brushes are then damaged and wear out as a result of the electrical arc.
These brushes can rust if they are exposed to water repeatedly, causing them to lose contact with the slip rings. With a flooded alternator, you’ll also have to deal with grime. Things like sand and dirt can get into the brushes and freeze them out of contact with your slip rings if your car is submerged in water.
Can You Clean an Alternator With Water?
You can definitely clean your alternator with water if you don’t pressure wash it directly. You wouldn’t want to clean your engine bay by pressure washing it because it can damage the seals that could cause another problem for you. When it comes to cleaning alternators, water is however recommended rather than a petroleum-based engine degreaser.
To dry an alternator, get a can of CRC electric clean or a similar product and part it into the alternator. Then, after you let it sit for 24 hours, it should be good to go. Another option is to leave the hood open to let air flow through your engine bay to dry it out.