What is the max. number of RMS watts a stock alternator can handle?


Unregistered guest
I have a stock alternator rated @ about 70~80 amps in my 1992 acura integra GS. I would like to know how many RMS watts my alt. can handle. Please help and thank you in advance.

I wouldn't go any higher than 600 rms. That would leave about 20 amps for the car.

Unregistered guest
What would happen if I go over 600 watts RMS? Will the amplifiers start pulling power from the car battery? Or will it cause the alternator to stop working?
How much would adding a high output alternator rated @ ~160 amps cost, including parts & labor?

Unregistered guest
i would say it varies depending on the car. i have an rsx with a 300w rms and i get clipping so might wanna try 300w and go up from there. i also a hu putting out maybe about 340w rms output and my lights dim at max volume. if ur alternator cant handle the wattage ur amp is demanding prolly have damaged subs

Bronze Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 24
Registered: 02-2004
no way to know till your voltage rails sag and lights dim etc.
if you overstress teh alternator the car won't run properly, may stall out, audio system will clip and distort, things like that.
a 600W amp, if it's class D will draw about 55-60A. If it's class AB the amp will draw closer to 75-80A of current.

Silver Member
Username: Newb

Post Number: 113
Registered: 12-2003
so does the watts=amp*voltage equation work here for estimation purposes? w=70amps(his integra)*14volts(running alternator)=total watts alternator can support. plus do you have to deduct the power the car needs to run and operate properly?

Gold Member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 1352
Registered: 12-2003
to a point, yes, but also add 20% for each class D amp, and 50% for each class AB amp on top of amps*volts, to figure for loss to efficienfcy/heat. then keep in mind that current draw will increase with volume, so if he keeps the system at moderate to low levels, even with substantially powerful amps, he may not overload the system.. not till he tries to crank it way up.. lots of things like that to consider
the SPL he does reach will also depend on factors like box design, and damping in the vehicle so he may have a more efficient setup, or not.. which will determine the power he needs to reach a certain desired SPL in the car... even if that level is only about 100dB or so
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