Car Alternator - Feeds The Electrical System Once The Engine Starts
Car Alternator – Feeds The Electrical System Once The Engine Starts

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Alternator Or Battery Failure – Function – Failure Symptoms With Testing


Car Alternator – Feeds The Electrical System Once The Engine Starts

When you look at alternators from the outside; they look like simple devices; with only a few parts in them. But, they are critical; in order for your car to function and operate.

Car Alternator Basic Function Include:

Keeping The Battery Fully Charged

An alternator’s main function is to generate electricity to recharge the battery. A car battery does not have the power; to start and run a car on its own for very long. Without a properly functioning alternator; a new car battery might last about 20 to 30 minutes. Depending on the terrain and whether; you are using any other electricity draining functions; such as headlights or a radio. The alternator recharges the battery; while the engine is running; ensuring that your battery is good.

Keeping Accessories Powered

Nearly every part of the electrical system; is mostly powered by the alternator. Although some electricity may be taken directly from the battery. Electrical system components include engine cooling fans; fuel injection system, ignition coils, radio, power steering, power windows, headlights and wipers. If you suspect that your alternator is not working properly; turn off all your accessories. It will help you get where you are going; until your alternator can be fixed.

Common Problems

One of the most common problems; people have with their cars pertains to their alternator. These devices have a life of about 5 years; at the most before you need to replace it. You will know when your alternator starts to go bad; because the lights of your car will start dimming. There may even be a growling sound or strange smell; that comes from underneath the hood of the car. And of course; the worst case scenario is if this happens while you are driving. Because, it will cause your car to stall altogether. Next, your engine will not turn over at all. Then you will be forced to pull over to the side of the road; and call someone for roadside assistance.

Diagnosing Alternator Problems

People often have a tough time diagnosing alternator problems. Because, they will assume any problems with the lights in their car; have to do with the battery. Now it is true that a weak battery could cause similar symptoms. But, if you really want to know; just have your battery charged; and see if the car starts up afterward. You could also try replacing the battery in your car with a new battery. If you find that you still have trouble with your car; then it is clearly a problem with the alternator. At that point; you would need to have the alternator replaced.

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