How Long Does an Alternator Last?

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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5,827
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Iain

7 years of experience
6 reviews
Iain
7 years of experience
Acura RSX - Alternator - Birmingham, Alabama
Very Knowledgeable! Very Friendly and Respectful. Was able to maneuver around hiccups during the service and kept me up to speed along the way. Will definitely use in the future!
Toyota Avalon - Alternator - Birmingham, Alabama
Iain did a great job replacing my alternator. He communicated well and was punctual, professional, and friendly. He also made sure my battery was charged back up before completing his service. I will definitely be using your services again.

William

34 years of experience
330 reviews
William
34 years of experience
Honda Pilot - Alternator - Surprise, Arizona
William was highly experienced with Hondas and finished in less than 3 hrs. We’re very appreciative that someone with his experience was sent.
Honda CR-V - Alternator - Glendale, Arizona
William did a great job with replacing the needed parts and was very consise and professional. Would definitely recommend him for any Honda service you may need

James

31 years of experience
591 reviews
James
31 years of experience
Toyota Venza - Alternator Repair - Santa Ana, California
James did a great job fixing the alternator on our car. He showed up on time, was friendly and professional. The work was completed in the time quoted and he answered all my questions.
Chevrolet Trailblazer - Alternator - Fullerton, California
James did amazing work on my car! He was very clear when explaining things to me and gave me other recommendations on things that might need fixing as well!

Gustavo

15 years of experience
4 reviews
Gustavo
15 years of experience
Toyota Corolla - Alternator - Jersey City, New Jersey
Gustavo was prepaired, on time and professional. His understanding of the job is comforting. Many thanks....

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