A capacitor is a fast discharge battery. On hard bass hits it uses the juice from the capacitor to level the strain on the charging system. If you have a high wattage system a capacitor will do nothing, if you need about 5A of power more you could get away with a capacitor. My advice is to run your system and see if your lights dim any. If they do then there might be a need for a high out alternator. If the lights are constantly dim then you might have a problem. Don't go out a buy a capacitor just cause.
a capacitor won't help you. They are a sales gimmick, and only mask the symptoms of the real problem. what you need to look for is a high output alternator. that's the real solution to your woes.
GlassWolf is half right. If your going to spend money on upgrading your electrical system start with the alt, then a good battery, then add some capacitance. There is no harm in having a cap or two, and I would deffinitely rather have one then none. But, on the other hand if you cant afford to do the expensive alt upgrade, then having a cheap $40-50 1 farad cap is a lot better then not having one at all. It wont "gain" you any power but at least it will help keep the charging/discharging of the electrical system steady.
It helped me immensely. My Dakota's alternator is controlled by the computer, so it has a bit of delay before bringing the voltage back up when a lod is applied. The alternator can handle the load, but it has crappy regulation. I added a 1.25 farad cap, and it took care of the voltage sag that happends just before the computer realizes what is going on.
Exactly Alex ; )
bout the same for me....my alt has plenty of current to hold up my amp, but i still got some dimming....but only on hard hits....i have a 2 farad cap and it stops that...
but my lights dont dim or anything.. i only have a 400 watt amp. so i guess i dont really need a capacitor
"theAnonymous1" may mean well, but his knowledge of electrical priciples seems to be a bit on the limited side.
All the capacitor will do is mask the symptoms of inadequate current supply (weak alternator) since once the capacitor is discharged, which takes about 30 seconds at best, the capacitor will require even more current (which you don't have) to recharge. If your alternator is insufficient, a capacitor will not help you at all. If the alternator is sufficient, all the capacitor will do is smooth out spikes in current draw to theoretically extend the life of the alternator by reducing the sudden spikes in demand and subsequent wear on internal components like the diode arrays. The reason lights stop dimming and such when you add a capacitor is that the voltage for the system is then essentially kept at a more steady 10 or 11 volts, instead of the voltage fluctuating constantly. This still isn't good for the vehicle, and the amplifiers are still clipping and damaging the speakers. You just aren't as aware of it since you don't see lights dim, or have as many computer errors caused by the afore mentioned fluctuations.
i have a 94 ford ranger. i know i need something because not only do my lights dim...when i have my amp on at high volume i cant even turn on the heat/air/whatever. my queston is will a capacitor STOP the problem(not mask it). or do i need to by myself a new altinator?