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Q: Alternator is dead!

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Battery light stayed on while driving. Shut off car and than could not star it again. Got it boosted and than car dies on me after 2 minutes drive. CAA guy tells me it's my alternator? Is this possible my car is a 2011! What causes this? Do I go rebuilt? How much could this cost me? Thank you in advance for your advice. Angelo

My car has 54000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: This may be related to a failing alternator...

This may be related to a failing alternator or voltage regulator. It is not at all uncommon for an alternator to fail. As you may know, the alternator is responsible for charging the battery while the engine runs by generating amperage and recharging the battery while the engine turns the alternator. The voltage regulator is a unit that regulates the charging of the battery by the alternator. Often times this will result in the alternator allowing too much power to be delivered to the battery resulting in damaging wires and prematurely sometimes destroying the battery. In other cases it may result in the alternator not supplying enough power to the battery, resulting in undercharging the battery or not charging it at all.

In some cases when a battery is too weak or damaged, it may no longer hold a charge for any length of time, in which case the alternator may be doing its job, but the battery is just simply too weak to hold a charge. In either case, I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose your vehicle’s charging system.

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