Alternator

Used & Rebuilt Alternator

Alternator

What is an alternator?

The alternator in a vehicle is basically a type of electrical generator whose purpose is to distribute electricity to the car and recharge the battery. Apart from a few hybrid models, all cars with an IC engine use an alternator. It is usually mounted to the front of the engine with a belt running around it and has four main components, which are the rotor and stator, voltage regulator, diode rectifier and cooling fan.Alternators are driven by the engine’s crankshaft via a serpentine belt in most modern vehicles. The belt’s movement, which is the mechanical energy, spins the alternator’s rotor at a high speed within the stator. And electricity is made as the rotor spins. The magnets which surround the rotor are placed in such a way that they will pass over the copper wiring in the stator creating a magnetic field. This magnetic field will then produce voltage that will be captured by the stator. This power is then send to the voltage regulator, which will disperse the electricity to the vehicle and manage the amount of voltage the battery receives.

Symptoms of a faulty alternator

If your vehicle’s alternator fails completely, it will not start or stay on for more than a few minutes. However, there are a few ways of identifying a failing alternator before this happens so that you can take adequate actions.

These are the following symptoms you can use for that –.

1. Dim Or Overly Bright Lights – If an alternator starts to fail, it will provide inconsistent voltage to the electronic accessories. Usually, that takes the form of under or over performing equipment, like headlights which become either too bright or too dim. You could also experience flickering lights or lights that erratically go from dim to bright and vice-versa.

2. Dead Battery – Mostly, a dead battery is just a dead battery. It most likely simply reached its life span. Sometimes, however, a dead battery is an indication of a malfunctioning alternator. A bad alternator won’t charge the battery well enough while the engine is running, causing the charge in it to deplete faster than usual. One easy way of finding out as to whether the battery is simply dead or whether it’s an alternator problem is to jump start the car. If your car remains running after you jump start it, then it is a case of a dead battery. However, if your car dies shortly after jump starting, then it is an alternator problem.

3. Slow Or Malfunctioning Accessories – If the alternator is malfunctioning or close to failing, it will not supply enough power to your car’s electronics, which often result in slow or non-working accessories. Thus, if your windows start taking longer than usual to roll up and down, or if your seat warmers start to feel “off” or the speedometer and the other instruments start going haywire, you might have a bad alternator.

4. Trouble Starting Or Frequent Stalling – If you have trouble starting the engine, that is an indication that your alternator is possibly failing. In this case, you will hear only a clicking sound when you turn the key in the ignition instead of the purr of the engine and it is most likely caused due to the spark plugs not getting enough power from the alternator.

5. Growling Or Whining Noises – If you start hearing growling or noises from under the hood of the car, you could probably have a bad alternator. These noises happen due to the belt that turn the alternator’s pulley becoming misaligned or rubbing against the side of the pulley. It’s best to get your car checked by an expert in this case.

6. Smell Of Burning Rubber Or Wires – If you start noticing the presence of a foul odor of burning rubber or wires emitting from the vehicle, it is a sign that parts of your alternator is starting to wear out. Since the alternator’s drive belt is under constant tension and friction, it may wear out eventually and emit an unpleasant burning rubber smell. Also, if the alternator is being overworked or if it has damaged or frayed wires, you may smell a burning odor like an electrical fire.

7. Battery Warning Light Turns ON In The Dashboard – The battery warning light on the dashboard isn’t exclusive to battery related problems. It can also be an indication of something being wrong with the wider electrical system of your car, including the alternator. Alternators are designed to work at a specific voltage. Thus, if the alternator fails, its voltage will drop below capacity, which will consequently lead to the battery warning light appearing on the dashboard.

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Mainland Auto Parts sells Used and Rebuilt alternator for all major makes and model including

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