What Does an Alternator Do?

Car Alternator

If your car has trouble starting, you most likely have wondered if the battery or alternator is on the fritz. And, this may have you wondering, “What does an alternator do?” You probably think the battery is responsible for keeping your car running, powering all of the instrumentation, and keeping the automatic functions (locks, windows, seat adjustment, etc.) workable, but the alternator is responsible for charging the battery while the car is running by supplying power (Direct Current or DC) to the rest of the vehicle. If your alternator goes out soon the car will not even turn over to start.

How Do You Know it is the Alternator?

It is prevalent for Smithton drivers to mistakenly think the battery has gone bad when it is the alternator. Here are a few signs that the alternator is bad, not the battery:

  • Headlights are overly bright or dim
  • Dead battery
  • Slow or malfunctioning accessories
  • The battery light comes on
  • A high-pitched or grinding noise while driving
  • The smell of burning rubber or plastic when you pop the hood
  • Difficulty starting the vehicle or the vehicle stalls while driving

Is it My Battery or Alternator?

It can be challenging to tell if your car’s battery or alternator is responsible for the car malfunctioning. To save yourself from grief while commuting from Belleville to St. Louis, run this simple test yourself to gauge if it is the alternator or battery. If the car dies and you jumpstart it, remove the battery cables to see how the car does. If it dies immediately, it is a problem with your alternator.

Car alternators are designed to last the lifetime of your car – seven years or 80,000 to 150,000 miles on the vehicle. While it is more likely the battery needs to be replaced, your alternator can still go out. Here are a few reasons why this might occur:

  • Power drain on the alternator
  • Driving conditions
  • Poor quality of the alternator

How Much Does it Cost To Replace the Alternator?

If you suspect the car’s alternator is going out, you wonder how much this repair will cost in East St. Louis. Unfortunately, different vehicles require different batteries, so it is impossible to get an actual repair quote ahead of time. Contact Auffenberg CDJR’s service department to get an estimate because our technicians have been trained to work on your vehicle and will correctly install your new alternator.

Visit Auffenberg CDJR for Your Repair Needs Today!

Contact us if you have any further questions about your stalling or non-operational car. Our service technicians will diagnose your car’s issue and carry out needed repairs. If you plan to install the alternator yourself, contact our parts department to get the exact model alternator for your vehicle. Have additional service questions like, how much is it to lift a truck? We look forward to working with you today!

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