Part two of a series on auto repair explores alternators and their relationship to batteries.
What is an Alternator?
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What is an alternator? Well according to the site How Stuff Works:
“An automotive charging system is made up of three major components: the battery, the voltage regulator and an alternator. The alternator works with the battery to generate power for the electrical components of a vehicle, like the interior and exterior lights, and the instrument panel. An alternator gets its name from the term alternating current (AC).Alternators are typically found near the front of the engine and are driven by the crankshaft, which converts the pistons’ up-and-down movement into circular movement.” [SOURCE ARTICLE]
Your alternator has a curious connection to your car battery. In our last article, we covered the effect of Arizona’s heat on car batteries, and the fact that it is a good idea to replace your car battery every three years in Arizona. Well there is another rule of three where alternators are concerned. After every third battery replacement, you might want to see about replacing your alternator because it will start to go out.
What Are the Symptoms of Alternator Problems
Unlike a battery which is fairly obvious when it is going out, an alternator is much more subtle. One very big clue is your car’s light display. If your gauge display is really dim even if you’ve turned it up as high as you can, it is a sign that your alternator is starting to go. It’s important that you know that when your alternator fails, unlike a battery, it can literally stall your car while you’re driving.
So remember your rules of three. If you live in Arizona, replace your car battery every three years. After every three battery replacements, make sure that you replace your alternator as well. And the best place to do this? At your auto repair shop in Mesa of coursew.
This concludes part two of our series. For more information on electrical problems, be sure to read part one and part three as well.