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What Size Alternator Do I Need For Car Audio? Read This!!

Entertainment in vehicles is a mainstream thing in the 21st century. This technology has been evolving from simple cassette players to complete multimedia and sound systems, and you possibly know the car audio is a significant part of entertainment. In this article, you will answer “what size Alternator do I need for Car Audio.”

Further, When you add a sound system with a higher power, your vehicle’s electrical system requires a lot of energy to cope with the demand. It usually happens when you use high demanding setups with high watt sound systems. At times, even mid-range hi-fi systems can be power-hungry and stress your car’s electronics; this, in turn, can affect your car’s electrical systems.

You can install a high-powered alternator on your vehicle to prevent such problems; it will save your car’s electrical systems and components. While you are planning on upgrading your Alternator, there are certain things like engine compatibility and the power output of your new Alternator.

You can easily make mistakes in the process as it is a technical and exhausting task. This article will look at the uses of an alternator, the capacity of alternators, and what size Alternator your car requires.

What Are The Uses of An Alternator?

Here are main uses of an Alternator. 

Powering the car

While the car battery is used as the power source when the car engine is off, the alternate component powers the car when the engine is started. The Alternator provides power to most of the car’s electronic components while you’re driving or idling with the engine started.

Includes your car’s headlights, electrical powered steering, power shutters, wipers, heaters on the seats, dashboard instruments and lighting, and audio systems. The Alternator provides all these components with direct current (DC) power.

Alternator Charges the battery

While your battery provides the power to start your car and use the electronic components, it also requires recharging; this can’t be done by removing the storm as it involves a lot of work. The Alternator provides you with the capability to recharge your batteries while running on engine power, and it helps the battery seamlessly charge unnoticed in the background.

Capacity of Vehicle Alternators

Did you know the capacity of alternators? If not, here they are. 

Single Phase Alternators

Single-phase alternator is an electric generator which generates alternating current with a single, continuously alternating voltage. These Single-phase alternators are used to create power in single-phase electric power systems.

Two-Phase Alternators

These alternators contain two windings to generate different amounts of current from them. In addition, these windings function alternatively to provide an uninterrupted current source.  

Three Phase Alternators

These alternators contain three windings in them, and each winding is located at a  difference of 120°.

What Are The Uses of An Alternator?

What size Alternator do I need for Car Audio?

The stock alternator you get with your car might not be enough to power high-powered audio systems. So what size alternator do I need for car audio?

To calculate the capacity of the Alternator you require for your car, you have to first identify the additional power requirements needed by the audio system and how much power you currently have in your vehicle.

The best method to calculate this number is to apply the Amps X Volts= Watts formula. For example, you have a 2,000-watt amp with a purported voltage of 13.5v.

It implies that the maximum power you can use is 150 amps in the car’s electrical system. You should also identify the amount of energy used by the car and put that in the sound system.

The resulting total of the energy you get will imply the peak energy usage of the car; also, show you the size of an alternator you have to buy. You have to get an expert to help determine the extent of Alternator your car audio system will need because most vehicles have varying sound systems.

The numbers are not responsible for the various RPMs’ contrasting sound output (revolutions per minute).

If you install an alternator with lesser power than your car’s electrical system’s requirement, you might damage or even destroy your Alternator. You must always consult experts and calculate your car’s power demand before installing the Alternator.

Suppose you install a big amp alternator in your car, which can produce very high power and be compatible with the car engine. In that case, the additional amperage will not be used unless needed by the vehicle.

Though this will make you waste your budget, it won’t damage ‘the car nor destroy the car’s electrical system. The only precaution you need to take when changing the audio system that requires significant amperage is adjusting some settings before putting the high amp alternator.

One more important thing to consider is the compatibility of your car engine’s model and the Alternator. No matter how well you choose your Alternator, it will not be helpful for your car if it is not compatible with your car’s engine. Always keep this in mind as well.


As we have already discussed, modern-day cars can run high-end and robust audio systems. You need capable alternators that can power demanding electrical systems, as your stock alternator might not be up to the task. There are several types of alternators with different capacities available in the market.

To decide on what Alternator you require, you must first calculate the power demands of your car, the includes all the electrical systems including the audio setup. Once calculated, you can buy alternators to match that power compatible with your engine model.

You must keep two things in mind when upgrading your Alternator. If you miscalculate your power requirement and install an alternator incapable of powering the audio system, you will be risking damage and might as well be wasting money. Suppose you overcompensate and buy an alternator with a much higher capacity than your requirement.

In that case, then again, you might be wasting your money. Also, might not use the full potential of that Alternator which it is capable of. So, to sum it up, choose your Alternator as per the demands of your audio system.

Check Out This Video,

VIDEO CREDITS: CarAudioFabrication YouTube Channel

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