Do not let the alternator of your car leave you on foot. An alternator, in fact, is one of the most commonly malfunctioning components. A faulty alternator can leave you locked up, but fortunately a low-performance alternator often shows alarm signals indicating its malfunction before it finishes working completely.
Being able to recognize these signs of danger, and knowing what to do, will prevent you from being in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation. An important sign that the alternator is working badly is that your car’s battery frequently tends to discharge or abandons it completely. Although there may be other causes for a low battery, an alternator that does not work well – that is, the lack of a power source – will prevent the battery from charging normally.
Another warning signal may be a metallic noise that changes with the engine speed. Often, this indicates that the alternator carrier tree is about to break. This is a relatively common problem with alternators that have been used for a long time.
The best way to avoid being caught by a bad alternator is by having it tested on a regular basis. It is recommended that you do this whenever a tuning is done on your car, about once a year. If you drive more than the average, it is advisable to have a check-up more frequently. A technician can easily check the voltage output of your alternator.
If you suspect that your alternator works badly or does not charge the car battery correctly, you can test it for free at many stores. In most cases, a mechanic can also test the alternator while it is still installed on the vehicle.
With the advancement of technology, the alternator of a car is more important than ever. Looking at the latest cars on the market, many have a wide range of electronics; all require power to be able to use it. The computer in a new car has the task of controlling candles, fuel pumps, and the engine, among other things.
If you have some experience with working on cars, replacing your car’s alternator can be a viable process with do-it-yourself. The most difficult step to accomplishing this task is to have access to the mounting bolts. The difficulty of this varies with the year, brand and model of the vehicle on which it is being worked. The older ones often have the alternator near the front of the engine, upwards, making the replacement very simple.
New vehicles, especially those with front wheel drive, may not have the alternator accessible. The front drive models usually have it installed sideways, which means there is little room to access the mounting bolts. Do not forget that you will also need to remove the coil strap in the latest models. This can be a good opportunity to replace it.