Well I bough a new car on Friday and on Tuesday my alternator went out. I have heard that the Alternator would interfere with my pacemaker so I had the guy at discount auto parts bring the part out to my car and I had it put as far away from me as possible. Now my father in law swears that it does not have any magnets in it and that it does not put of a magnetic field so I was hoping maybe someone here would know if it was true or not.



by thomast - 2008-03-13 04:03:18

Actually an alternator does not have magnets in it, so it is only a danger when it is installed and the car running.

Don't worry

by boatman50 - 2008-03-13 04:03:52

While the alternator is laying in your car it has no electro-magnetic field for you to worry about. It does have magnets in it so don't hold it up against your pm but you could carry it without a problem. When it is installed in the car and the engine is running it does put out a powerful electro magnetic field. Do not lay on the alternator while the engine is running! If you don't normally work on your own engine and even if you open the hood while the engine is running, just stay away from the alternator and ignition system by 3 or more feet. (got that from Medtronics)

Effects Of Alternator On Pacemaker

by SMITTY - 2008-03-13 05:03:59

I know this is an overkill on the subject but there seems to be some disagreement.. The following is from an article on the subject and I figure there are lots of us that may not know what this question is about. I hope this tells enough of the story to either answer the question.

The alternator is a type of generator used on modern cars, trucks, vans and SUVs that converts the mechanical energy generated by the engine to electrical energy in the form of alternating current (as opposed to the direct current generated by the DC generators used on older vehicles). The main function of the alternator is to charge the vehicle's battery. But while the engine is running, the alternator also powers all the other electrical and electronic components installed in the vehicle.

A typical alternator is composed of four basic parts: the rotor, the stator, the diode packs and the voltage regulator. THE ROTOR IS PRIMARILY A MAGNET that rotates around the stator, which is a core of iron wrapped with copper wires. Together, the rotor-stator pair generates alternating current, which would further be converted by the diode packs into direct current that can be used to charge the battery and power all other electrical components in the vehicle. The last of the basic parts, which is the voltage regulator, is used to control and maintain the amount of voltage given off by the alternator.

I'll add my thought on the subject too. If you are close enough to an alternator that is creating an electromagnetic field (the car engine is running in other words) that will affect your pacemaker you are too close to many moving components on that engine so step back before you get hurt. And I agree, an alternator that is not running will not harm your PM.



by thomast - 2008-03-13 06:03:44

I must disagree with Smitty, the magnet in an alternator is an electro magnet, not a permanent magnet, so is only a magnet when it is connected in the car and the ignition swicth turned on.


by SMITTY - 2008-03-13 11:03:39

Hey Thomast, you are not disagreeing with me. You may disagree witht he article I posted but only the last paragraph of that posting are my words. But now that you have said it, are you telliing me that an alternator will not work unless there is an external power source to make magnets of the rotating components of the alternator? Just asking. I have never checked out an alternator, but I have seen the stationary magnets in the old generators so I know about them. Smitty


by thomast - 2008-03-14 09:03:01

Yes Smitty, an alternator will not function without an excitation voltage. That is why if a car has a dead battery it cannot be pushed and started (even with a manual transmission) if it has an alternator. with a generator it could be pushed and the generator turning would produce electricty to allow the car to start. Well we have went from pace makers to automotive, can learn all kinds of things here. Thomas


by hotform - 2008-03-14 12:03:28

I had to put the start of this under the category of you have got to be kidding me.
Had the parts store guy carry it to the car and put it as far away as possible?
Sorry to be laughing, but the dang thing actually has to be hooked up and running to be dangerous. Your unit actually has to be pretty close to the running alternator to be dangerous.
Do any of the magnet people running around the site realize that the big round thing in your phone unit that they tell you to pick up and put over your pacer is a big magnet?
The magnet throws the reed switch inside your unit so that they can interrogate it. Same thing when the Medtronics person puts the mouse over your shoulder onto your unit. The mouse has a magnet in it. So while the magnet throws your reed switch and drops you into a default mode, it will take an extremely large magnetic field such as standing next to a generator under Hoover dam to probably cause any damage.
Shocking (pun intended) to see what some people believe and how little research they put into some of this. Rick

Thank you

by OIMAPRINCESS2477 - 2008-03-15 06:03:17

I wanted to say thank you for all of your comments. Since I am a girl and I know nothing about cars I figured someone on here would be able to help me out. I was not aware that the alternator only produced a magnetic field while operating. But I am glad that I still took precaution in handling the part. Hope everyone is doing well.


Smart Girl !

by johng - 2008-03-16 06:03:02

You did exactly the right thing.

If you don't know, or are unsure if something is dangerous, the smart thing to do is, don't risk it.
Then ask the questions.

Only the less intelligent person ignores the risk, (and usually ends up finding out the hard way).
When you are not sure, always ask.

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