When you think of how your car gets its electrical power, you may automatically think of the battery. It's true, your car battery does provide the electricity needed to get your car started and stay running. But did you know that the alternator is also an important electrical component?
The alternator is a vital part of your vehicle's charging system, which means that it helps to keep the battery charged and running while you drive. It both distributes electricity and keeps the battery charged. Without a working alternator, your battery would quickly lose its charge and die out.
So, how does the alternator work exactly? The alternator is driven by the engine via a serpentine belt. the movement of the serpentine belt will in turn spin the alternator's rotor at a high speed. As the rotor spins, electricity is produced. There are magnets placed around the rotors which help to create a magnetic field. This magnetic field will produce the voltage necessary to disperse electricity and manage the amount of voltage that the battery receives.
Since the battery receives the majority of its charge from the alternator, a dead battery can sometimes be caused by a faulty alternator. If your alternator is bad, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- The battery warning light has turned on
- Headlights or interior lights seem dim or flickering
- Car stalls or isn't starting up smoothly
- Dead battery
- Power windows, power locks, or radio issues
- Weird whirring noises coming from the engine
If you notice any of these symptoms, we recommend having your vehicle inspected here at Avid Autowerx at your earliest convenience. Ignoring an alternator issue can leave you stranded without a working vehicle, and a quick test and inspection here at our shop can identify the true cause of the issue. Give us a call or stop by our shop today!