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Current produced by 3.5 L car engine

  1. Feb 1, 2009 #1
    how can i determine how many amps are generated by a typical automobile engine? how many amps can i suck off of a car battery while the car is running, and not slowly drain the battery of its power?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2009 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    The alternator probably has an output rating.
  4. Feb 2, 2009 #3
    You might get a rough idea by looking at the ammeter of a car that has one. Headlamps are the largest drain, I believe.
  5. Feb 2, 2009 #4
    Modern automotive alternators are commonly rated at least 50 to 80 amps however, they aren't intended to provide this range of current output for lengthy durations, so be mindful that you could end up damaging the alternator/rectifier/regulator if you intend to draw near max current for any extended durations. Even so, you should check the specs for your alternator's current output.

    Additionally, if you're going to be drawing high instantaneous currents, transients can prove damaging to the vehicle's expensive electronics. Just keep that in mind...
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