Nearly every car on the road has an alternator, and it plays a pivotal role in recharging your car battery. Without a functional alternator, you will eventually not be able to start your car. Additionally, it will cause multiple electronics to fail. These include your headlights, power seats, power windows, radio, and more.
How Does the Alternator Make Electricity?
The alternator has the drive belt or serpentine belt wrapped around it on a pulley. When you start your car engine, the serpentine belt moves and rotates the pulley. This generates an alternating current and eventually a direct current to power your car's accessories.
How to Tell If the Alternator is Failing
Alternators last a very long time and sometimes almost the entire life of the vehicle. Once your vehicle has over 100,000 miles on it, you may experience trouble with your alternator that requires repairs or replacement. You will definitely notice when the alternator is on its last leg. Here are some signs that indicate your alternator is the culprit:
- Frequent jump starts on the battery
- Overly dim and/or bright headlights
- Malfunctioning power accessories
- Growling or whining noises from the belt
- Burning odors
- Electrical warning light
If your car is experiencing one or more of these problems, we invite you to River City Tire & Automotive to have your alternator checked out and tested. Please give us a call or visit if you have any questions.