Are you familiar with your vehicle’s alternator? Well, unlike the more well-known components in your vehicle, the alternator is something that many vehicle owners are unaware of. Regardless of this however, it plays a vital role in ensuring a safe, comfortable and functional driving experience. That’s why it’s so important to know exactly how it works, how to take care of it, and how it can put you and your vehicle at risk if it starts going bad.
What is the Alternator?
The alternator is what’s responsible for charging your vehicle’s electrical systems through working in conjunction with your car battery. Your ignition, interior and exterior lights, stereo system, air-conditioning and navigation system are all examples of features that rely heavily on this vital component in order to provide them with the energy needed to operate.
How Does It Work?
The alternator, in addition to the regulator and the battery, are what make up your vehicle’s charging system. This alternator works by converting mechanical energy from the crankshaft into electrical energy to power or recharge the battery, along with other features. In addition to this, the regulator controls the amount of electricity generated, so that it can prevent overcharging and henceforth, damage to the battery.
What Are Some Signs of a Bad Alternator?
The following are just a few signs that could potentially indicate that your vehicle’s alternator is failing:
- Dim headlights or flickering
- Slow-to-operate power seats or windows
- Engine stalling
- Dead battery
- Strange noises (caused by a stretched serpentine belt or worn internal bearings)
How to Take Care of Your Alternator
So, how can you make sure to prolong the life of your alternator and keep it in good, working condition?
1. Subject Your Vehicle to Regular Maintenance
Through subjecting your vehicle to regular maintenance, you will be allowing your mechanic to inspect the components of your vehicle, including that of your charging system, and identify any repairs or replacements that are due, before they have the chance to go bust or end up causing higher damage.
2. Don’t Ignore the Signs
If you’ve experienced any of the aforementioned symptoms of a bad alternator, then it would be best for you to book in for a service right away. As mentioned previously, leaving stretched belts or worn bearings left undealt can end up costing you a lot more than it would to replace these components individually in the first place. So, if you want to avoid hefty repair costs whilst also preserving the health of your vehicle, make sure to address worrying signs promptly.
3. Keep It Clean
If your alternator becomes dirty, it can quickly overheat. This can cause it to slow down, and eventually die. On the other hand, you can avoid this situation by working to keep your alternator clean and free from dirt, dust or debris. Check for organic gunk that usually makes its way into the engine during travel, and work to keep it free from obstructions and consequently, potential overheating.
Do you suspect that your alternator is playing up? At European Prestige Auto Service, we specialise in providing prompt and reliable maintenance and repair services for luxury vehicle brands, including BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Renault and Land Rover. Being fully equipped with the latest equipment and diagnostics technology, our highly skilled and professional auto technicians are prepared to deal with all the aforementioned makes and models, plus more. And best of all, thanks to their relentless passion and dedication to their work, our mechanics always strive to tend to your vehicle’s needs as if it were one of their own.
To book an appointment for your European vehicle, contact European Prestige Auto Service today!