Looking at the cars presented at Cropper's Chevrolet Buick GMC in Nogales, AZ, there's one thing they all have in common, and that's the presence of an alternator. The next time you plan a trip in your vehicle, look under the hood and check the engine. Next to the serpentine belt is a part with vents on the outside and visible stator coils. This is the alternator, and without it, driving a car would be impossible to do.

The alternator drives a magnetic field inside the rotor, which spins at a rapid pace. This manifests a magnetic field that pushes electrical current in the form of DC power. The current then goes to a car's interior electronic components and exterior headlights/taillights. It also powers the battery, recharging it to start a car when the engine isn't running. For this reason, alternators were once called generators, since they produce electricity but on a smaller scale.

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