How Long Does an Alternator Last?

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Your alternator is a vital component in your car. It recharges your battery, using engine power, and it also delivers power to your car’s electrical components. Essentially, it keeps the battery from losing charge, and of course if your battery dies, your car is simply not going to work.

You ask a lot of your alternator these days. In times gone by, it didn’t have to do much more than just power your headlights, and a few accessories like your radio. But think about all the accessories your car comes with today – entertainment systems, for instance, use up a lot of power, and then you probably also have on-board navigation, power windows, power mirrors, and perhaps even heated seats. All these “extras” need to receive power from your alternator. So, your alternator works every day, from the moment you start up your car until you turn it off. And if your alternator is failing, you will need to replace it.

Many factors can affect the life of your alternator, so it is difficult to say how long you can expect it to last. It will not usually last the life of your car, though. For one thing, the alternator’s rotor spins on a needle bearing, and this is a component that can break due to wear, or a buildup of dirt. The diodes in the voltage regulator can also fail, and engine heat puts strain on the alternator. Generally speaking, you can expect your car alternator to last anywhere between 40,000 and 100,000 miles.

Signs that your alternator is wearing out include:

  • Loss of power to various accessories when your car is idling
  • Dimming headlights
  • Dimming dashboard lights
  • ALT or GEN light is on

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should have your alternator checked. A professional mechanic can diagnose the problem with your alternator, and replace it if necessary.


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Recent Alternator Repair reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Alternator Repair Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

5,171

Rating Summary
4,870
168
34
22
77
4,870
168
34
22
77

Chris

20 years of experience
37 reviews
Chris
20 years of experience
Chrysler PT Cruiser - Alternator - Stone Mountain, Georgia
Chris was great. He replaced my alternator and actuator for my trunk. He also gave me more information about my car than Stacey which came out yesterday to do a diagnostic. I would def. recommend him. He was friendly, professional and communicated very well. I'll def. be looking for him specifically in the near future.
Pontiac Sunfire - Alternator - Lithonia, Georgia
Chris was very friendly and knowledgeable about the service he provided, He was very professional and punctual. I will definitely request him for my next car service.

Torrieanto

11 years of experience
513 reviews
Torrieanto
11 years of experience
Honda Ridgeline - Alternator - Tampa, Florida
Very polite and professional, l highly recommend him and will always be grateful it was him that came to service my vehicle.
Honda Accord - Alternator - Lakeland, Florida
Torrieantos did great work in a timely manner, there were no complications overall I'm happy with the service he provide.

Rodric

13 years of experience
354 reviews
Rodric
13 years of experience
Ford F-150 - Alternator - Atlanta, Georgia
Rodric is very efficient and highly skilled! He does work that other technicians pass on! I will call Rodric everytime I need EXCELLENT service on my 5 vehicles! Thank you!
Scion xB - Alternator - Atlanta, Georgia
He was professional, knowledgeable, and extremely willing to execute the repair even though it was raining during the entire appointment. He was soaked, and he still smiled and shook my hand when he completed the job. I have been telling everyone I know about yourmechanic.com, how awesome Rodric is, and how easy to use the appointment system is. Thank you!

Theodore

15 years of experience
1119 reviews
Theodore
15 years of experience
Infiniti QX4 - Alternator - Snohomish, Washington
Perfect! No fuss, no problems... He went straight to work changing out the alternater after showing up 30 min early! Did the job right, clean and timely! I will always come back for any future service to my ride! Thanks!

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