A Crash Course in Alternators from Car Experts

A Crash Course in Alternators from Car Experts

| By: Christian Brothers Automotive

How do I Know if There’s an Alternator Problem?

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. These include:

  • Needing frequent jump starts
  • Dim lights
  • Battery or check engine light
  • Growling or whining noise
  • Smell of burnt rubber

What the Alternator Does

The alternator helps several electrical components continue running when the engine is turned off. It also keeps your air conditioning flowing, your radio playing music, and your headlights illuminated.

The Location of the Alternator

There are two things to understand about the positioning of the alternator: It’s typically located near the front of the engine, and it’s bolted in with two brackets. One bracket is fixed, while the other is adjustable.

The Purpose of the Alternator

The alternator is essentially a generator powered by the engine. When the crankshaft is rolling, the drive belt generates electricity that other parts of the car will use. The alternator makes sure that the engine and the rest of the car has the energy needed to operate.

Now that you understand how the alternator functions and why it’s important, schedule an appointment if you notice something isn’t quite right. Our friendly car technicians are happy to answer any questions. Call Christian Brothers Automotive Olathe for an electrical system inspection today, and see the nice difference!

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