Your alternator is a major component of your car’s charging system, and without it you’re a sitting duck. While driving your car, your alternator chargers your battery and provides the electrical power that runs your car. No power means your car will not run. Fear not, here we will cover some of the most important information to know when you are in need of alternator repair, and how to keep your alternator in tip top shape.
What causes alternator damage?
There are several things that can cause alternator damage. One cause is belt slippage, which usually occurs when a worn or damaged belt slips on the alternator’s pulley wheel, resulting in reduced voltage output. Another cause could be your battery. If your battery has died or is dying it can often cause the alternator to fail from over use. The energy output that is often shared between the alternator and the battery will fall solely on the alternator, causing it to burn out.
What are some signs of alternator damage?
Keep a look out for the following signs of alternator damage.
-If you find that a dashboard light title “ALT” or “GEN” is illuminated than it’s a likely first sign that there is a problem with your alternator.
-If random and inconsistent electrical failures begin to occur throughout your car, it could be a sign that those parts are not receiving enough of a voltage supply from the alternator.
-If you hear strange noises, particularly a rattling sound, it’s a likely sign of alternator damage.
– If your car stalls or you have some difficulty with starting it, it can be a definite sign of alternator trouble.
-Your alternator provides the electricity throughout the car, so if you find your headlights are dim or flickering it could be a sign that it isn’t providing enough volts to the lights.
How to Keep an Alternator in Good Shape?
If you want to avoid being stranded on the side of the road, it may be wise to start practicing some simple alternator maintenance to ensure it lasts longer. Follow these tips on how to keep your alternator problem free:
-Use a voltmeter every so often to check if your car’s alternator is properly working.
-Check and replace your battery before it dies.
-If your battery does die, avoid turning on the air conditioner or the car all together.
-Your alternator doesn’t charge your battery, so you can stop trying that now.
-Pay Special attention to any strange noises or flickering lights.
-Replace you belts when they begin to become too worn or damaged.
It’s also wise to have your alternator checked out by your mechanic at least once a year. Even if there is not currently a problem, they will be able to tell if your car is experiencing any other difficulties that can eventually effect the alternator. Always bring your car in to be checked if you notice any of the signs above. It’s much easier to get an alternator repaired in Sacramento, than to have to have one replaced all together.