In the most simplest terms an alternator generates electricity to maintain sufficient power in your car’s battery to both start the vehicle and run the electrical components such as the lights, stereo, electric windows etc.
In general, they are very reliable and trouble-free. However, they can cause issues and may on occasion need repaired or replaced.
The first time you'll discover your alternator is faulty is when either the battery goes flat or when the battery light comes on the dashboard. The ECU monitors the input to the battery and if it drops too low, the battery warning light will come on. If this is the case it could be caused by the alternator simply being worn out – the brushes which transmit the electricity from the 'stator' and to the rotor wear down over time, or it could be an issue with the electrical distribution system.
With older alternators repair is usually straightforward, and with the component removed your mechanic can diagnose and rectify any issues, or a new alternator can be fitted. Unfortunately Alternators on newer, more complex, cars require more sophisticated diagnosis, but due to their cost, repair is often a preference to replacement. Testing the voltage output of the alternator is the primary method of diagnosing an issue with it.
If you notice your headlights flickering, that could be a warning sign, however, as can a battery warning light that flickers, or stays on longer than usual when you start the car. There's not a great deal you can do to extend the life of the alternator, and failure if very often sudden, rather than a gradual occurrence. In most cases you could have a perfectly functional alternator one day, and a dead one the next.
If this happens to you don’t hesitate to call Glenside Recovery on: 07715 697852.
Our efficient office staff will gather all the information required and dispatch our recovery technician and vehicle to your location immediately.
On arrival, our recovery technician will assess the situation and make an informed decision on the safest and most efficient way to recover and transport it for repair at a garage of your choosing.