What Does an Alternator Do?

Most drivers know the alternator is a vital part of each and every new vehicle, but what does an alternator do? That’s a question the team of service technicians here at Rick Hendrick City Chevrolet can answer, and it’s an easy enough part to understand. In a nutshell, the alternator works like a generator. It uses the engine as its source of energy and sends that power to your vehicle’s electrical systems.

Of course, understanding the answer to ‘what does an alternator do?’ is only part of what drivers should know. With that in mind, read on for answers to the following questions:

  • How Can You Tell if Your Alternator is Faulty?
  • How Can You Tell if it’s the Battery or Alternator?
  • How Much is an Alternator?

How Can You Tell if Your Alternator is Faulty?

There are a few signs you can watch for next time you’re making your way across Gastonia that suggest your alternator might need attention. Just a few common signs of a failing alternator include:

  • Inability to start or slow starting
  • Screeching or whining sounds after starting
  • Dim interior lights or headlights
  • Smell of burning rubber from under the hood
  • Active battery warning light
  • Personal devices failing to charge from the USB ports

How Can You Tell if it’s the Battery or Alternator?

Many of the aforementioned signs of a bad alternator can easily be mistaken for symptoms of a failing battery. The best way to determine which part needs attention is by waiting until the vehicle needs a jump start. If you jump start the engine and the vehicle dies after your jumper cables have been removed, the alternator is probably to blame.

Of course, it’s a good idea not to let things get to the point where you’re needing a jump start in the middle of Concord! It’s best to schedule servicing when you first notice any of the signs listed above.

How Much is an Alternator?

Alternators generally last between 80,000 and 150,000 miles, so you may need a replacement if you plan on driving the same vehicle across Rock Hill, SC for years to come. How much is an alternator replacement going to run you? The exact cost of a new alternator will vary depending on your make and model, but you can always get a quote by contacting our parts department.

Visit Our Rick Hendrick City Chevrolet Showroom Today for Expert Servicing

Whether you need further maintenance advice or want to order a new alternator, we’re always happy to help at Rick Hendrick City Chevrolet. For any further assistance, simply get in touch today.

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