The voltage regulator is just that ... it adjusts current produced by the alternator to maintain the regulated voltage (14.5 volts). BTW the CRX has a sensor ("ELD Unit") that measures the electrical load (it is located in the main fusebox under the hood) and under some circumstances (this is controlled by the ECU) the voltage regulator will be commanded to reduce the output voltage from 14.5v to 12.5v. The purpose of this is to save gas by reducing the alternator load. If you were a mad hacker, you could probably hotwire the regulator so that the alternator shut down when you were at WOT. The only reason I know this is because something in my 'rex is busted and the alternator light comes on when it goes to the 12.5v mode. I suspect my ELD is not working right.drnknmnky13 said:Unless you have a variable sized pulley that would adjust the speed of the alternator to the rate of charge..then no. The alternator spins at whatever speed the belt makes it spin. It produces XX amount of current for a given rpm regardless of the charge level of the battery. The regulator simply adjusts the amount of current it converts (or lets through to simplify things) to the battery. A dead battery would have the regulator allowing full current (up to a point) to the battery... as the battery reaches charged the regulator simply allows less current to flow. But the alternator itself doesn't work any "harder".
Yes if the regulator went bad I would replace the entire unit as a whole. But I wouldn't blame low battery charge for killing it.
The way the voltage regulator actually works, btw, is that it regulates the field coil in the alternator. The larger the magnetic field produced by the field coil, the more current the alternator produces. In a sense this is like having a different pulley size, it's just accomplished electrically. When the regulator dumps more current into the field coil, the alternator pulley becomes harder to turn because it's generating more power.