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What is ripple?

Ripple is the terminology associated with AC voltage produced by the alternator. Alternators produce AC voltage, then rectify to DC voltage for the operation of vehicle electrics. It is possible for an alternator to appear to operate correctly and still have diodes that aren't up to the task of rectifying all that AC to DC voltage. Excessive AC voltage that is not rectified can cause erratic operation of the vehicles' electrical components and even serious damage to the electrical system. For this reason, testing for ripple is very important and is included in AutoMeter test equipment.