What is the Alternator all about?
The alternator is the component that charges the battery in your car. When you use electrical components in your car (stereo, lights, etc.), the battery loses power. The alternator recharges the battery, replenishing the lost battery power. The alternator is located in the engine compartment. If the alternator is not working properly, your car will only stay running for as long as the battery has power stored. Once the battery loses power, your car will not start. Normally, a malfunctioning alternator will turn on the battery warning light or will have a low volt gauge reading.
Keep in mind:
The mechanic should check the entire charging system before installing a new alternator, including checking battery cables for corrosion and the condition of the battery.
How it's done:
- Inspect entire charging system (battery, cables, alternator).
- Inspect the drive belts.
- Test alternator output.
- Remove and replace alternator if found to be faulty.
- Re-test alternator output.
Ask your mechanic to inspect the condition of the charging system during every major service. Mechanic should also clean and tighten the battery cables during every major service.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Alternator?
- Dead battery or battery will not hold a charge.
- Dim lights.
- Battery warning light is on.
How important is this service?
Your alternator charges your battery, which powers the electronics in your vehicle, such as the radio and the air conditioning. The battery is also needed to turn on your vehicle. A malfunctioning alternator will not charge your car’s battery, and your vehicle will eventually run out of battery life and not be able to start.