Without a properly functioning voltage regulator, your alternator may direct more than the intended maximum voltage to your battery which could result in overcharging. While this might not seem like a bad thing, remember that the more your battery charges the hotter it gets. This could lead to a literal melt down inside your engine bay. So clearly, keeping the alternator producing the 13.5 to 14.5 volts necessary to operate all of your cars electronics is more than just for convenience... it is for safety. Most older vehicles have their voltage regulator mounted to the firewall or inner fender for easy service. A couple of decades after they were implemented, alternator manufacturers were able to incorporate them into the alternator itself. A quick test using a voltage meter will tell you if current is passing through it, or if it is simply dead. If it doesn't work anymore, then none of the electronic devices you have in your car will function correctly if at all.
As automakers moved away from generators towards the use of alternators, they also needed a device that would maintain a constant amount of voltage in the system. The battery would produce 12 volts, but around 14 would be needed to power all the devices like the headlights, radio, air conditioning compressor, etc. So as the alternator turns and juices up, the voltage regulator is in charge of raising the the level of charge to a minimum of 13.5 volts. When it detects that amount, it idles itself. If charge reaches 14.5 volts, it diverts power from the alternator to the battery. When that reaches 13.5 volts, it goes back to the alternator. So, it is in effect spinning plates inside your engine's electrical system; making sure everything is running smoothly. If your vehicle has an engine control module, then it already performs this function and you don't have an independent voltage regulator.
Replacing your voltage regulator is not a complicated task at all. If your alternator has an integrated voltage regulator, then it is a little more complicated as access to it is likely inhibited by other engine parts. But when you can get your hands on it, all you have to do is disconnect the wire harness, unscrew the regulator from the alternator, and put a new one in its place. Super simple.
Car Parts Discount is the place you need to come to get yourself a quality replacement voltage regulator. Whether you are looking for an inexpensive replacement from a top quality aftermarket manufacturer or a genuine original equipment part, we've got you covered. Don't waste your time looking elsewhere, and don't waste your money buying some no-name part from a company you've never heard of. CPD has the voltage regulator you need at the best price around.