Giving Texas Drivers a Crash Course in the Alternator

Giving Texas Drivers a Crash Course in the Alternator

The Location of the Alternator

The vehicle alternator is usually located near the front of the engine and is bolted with two brackets. The first bracket is usually fixed, while the other is adjustable to allow for drive belt tightening.

The Purpose of the Alternator

As part of the engine that produces electricity, the alternator is essentially a generator which is powered by the engine. When the crankshaft is rolling, the drive belt that is attached to the alternator generates electricity that other parts of the car will use. The alternator makes sure that the engine and the rest of the car as the amount of energy it needs to operate correctly.

What the Alternator Does

Aside from powering the engine, the alternator also helps your air conditioning to maintain proper air flow. It also helps in order to make sure you can run the radio, headlight and any other electrical components and features without any loss of power in the engine. When the alternator is working properly, you’ll notice an increase in engine power.

Signs of an Alternator Issue

As with many car parts, the alternator has a lot of moving parts that can become damaged or dirty. There are a few telltale signs of a bad or failing alternator. The most common include:

  • Having to frequently jump start the vehicle
  • Dim lights
  • Battery or check engine light
  • Growling or whining noise
  • Smell of burnt rubber

If you have questions about your alternator or think it may be on its last leg, don’t fret. Just contact the friendly auto repair experts at Christian Brothers Automotive Alamo Heights. We’ll perform a full electrical system check to make sure everything is working as it should. See the nice difference.