You’ve probably noticed a bunch of warning lights on your dash when you start your engine. They flash on to test the circuits and then go off if everything’s OK. One of the warning lights looks like a car battery. Its job is to tell you if your battery’s not charging properly.
You know that your battery stores electricity – enough to start your engine and get you moving. But that’s about it – you can only get a few miles on battery power alone with today’s creature comfort hungry vehicles. You need an alternator to generate enough electricity to run your engine and power your electrical accessories like the stereo, power seats, heater fan, on-board computers, and so on. On top of that, the alternator needs to recharge your battery. So when your alternator isn’t working properly, there isn’t enough electricity for all of those things. When your alternator fails, you aren’t going very far.
So why would your alternator not work? Usually they’ve simply worn out. Alternators are driven by your serpentine belt and spin 2 to 3 times faster than the engine – that’s a lot of work. The bearings wear out, as do the copper wire coils and magnets that generate the electricity.
There’s no sense in hobbling along with an alternator that’s not working properly. It will fail at some point and leave you stranded. A failing alternator usually will damage a good battery as well. Get a bad alternator replaced as soon as you can. Alternator replacement is a standard service that you can get done at any of our 7 New Hampshire and Maine locations by one of our master technicians. You will also get the peace of mind of a Nationwide 5 Year/50,000 mile warranty covering parts and labor!
And don’t forget if you use a lot of additional electrical gizmos in the vehicle, like computers, DVD players, power inverters and such or may regularly tow a camper trailer, boat or RV that puts and even higher load on your charging system. If that sounds like you, talk with one of our service advisors at Auto Care Plus about upgrading to a more heavy duty alternator to meet your high load needs.
DID YOU KNOW?
When you replace your alternator, it’s a good idea to replace your serpentine belt at the same time. Our technicians will have to remove the old belt anyway so he might as well put on a new one when he’s done. And the number-1 alternator killer is a battery that’s on its last legs; the alternator has to overwork to keep it charged. If your battery is 3-5 years old; you should have us replace the battery at the same time.