Is the Alternator on your vehicle bad? Do you want to know the cost of an alternator? If yes, this article has got you covered. When the alternator of your vehicle is bad, you won’t be able to run the car for long and most times, the vehicle won’t even start.
So, it’s necessary to replace a bad alternator as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Driving your car with a bad alternator would cause more damage to the electrical system of your car and may lead to the breakdown of the engine.
Before you get to know how much a new alternator costs, let this article educate you more on what an alternator is. So, what is an alternator? An alternator in a car is an auto component that produces electrical power by converting mechanical energy into electrical energy.
Having known this, you may be wondering now “what does an alternator do in a car?” the work of an alternator in a car is to charge the battery and provide power for the electrical accessories while the engine runs. These electrical accessories include; headlamps, radio, etc.
Having known the relationship between the alternator in your car and the car battery, you should know that a bad alternator would lead to a dead battery over time. When you notice the rapid dimming of your vehicle’s headlamp as well as the battery running down quickly, you may need to replace the Alternator.
Signs of a Bad Alternator
Before you think of replacing your alternator, you may have noticed some signs indicating that the alternator is bad. So, what are the signs of a bad alternator? The list below would provide you with the answers:
- A dead battery. This is because a bad alternator would not charge a vehicle’s battery sufficiently. However, to confirm if it is the battery or the alternator that is bad, you would need to jumpstart the car.
If you jumpstart the car and it dies after a few minutes, then your alternator may need a replacement. If otherwise, your vehicle’s battery may need a change.
- Dim or Flickering headlamps. Since the alternator is responsible for charging the electrical accessories of the car such as the radio and headlamps, a dim or flickering headlamp may indicate a bad alternator.
- Burning rubber smell. Normally, the alternator of a car has a drive belt that is under constant tension and friction. An overworked alternator would transmit more energy than needed and this may cause the wires and belts to burn leading to a foul smell.
Also, the overheating engine may come in contact with the alternator belt thus, burning it and causing an unusual smell.
- Difficulty in starting the vehicle. when the alternator fails to charge the battery, you would find it difficult to start the car. Also, the car may stall (stop automatically) while it runs due to the insufficiently charged battery.
- A growling or whining sound from your car could also be an indicator that your vehicle’s alternator is bad.
Having known this, you would be able to tell if your vehicle’s alternator is bad and needs a change.
How much does an Alternator Cost
Is your Alternator bad? Do you want to buy a new alternator? If yes, this article has got you covered. So, “How much does a new alternator cost?” currently, a new alternator costs between $100 to $140.This price may vary based on the model and make of your vehicle.
What can Damage an Alternator?
It’s important your take proper care of your vehicle and the parts also. This would reduce frequent visits to the mechanic and also have a positive effect on your pocket.
Your alternator going bad could be caused be some factors and a knowledge of the causes would help to take precautions. Some causes of a bad or damaged alternator includes:
- Excessively tight drive belts.
- Improper connections of the battery terminals.
- Issues with the computer system of the car.
- Damaged or worn-out wires.
- A blown fuse.
- Exposure of the alternator to water for a long period of time.
- Loose terminals of the battery.
- Engine overheating.
You may be thinking “Can water damage an alternator” The answer is Yes. Though, your alternator is protected by the hood from water but exposing the alternator to water (deep puddles) for a long period of time would eventually damage your alternator.
Having gone through this article, you should be able to know what an alternator is, the cost of a new alternator and also how to maintain your alternator.