What Does an Alternator Do?

Car Alternator

You might know your vehicle’s components, like the engine and the transmission, but just what does an alternator do? Your alternator sends power to the electrical system while your car is running. In short, the alternator works as a generator, with the gas engine acting as its fuel source. Let’s dive a little deeper into an alternator’s role and how much is an alternator to replace.

Common Alternator Issues

Now that you know just what an alternator does, you can see why it’s vital for your travels. So if you start to notice any of the following problems, it might be time to visit the service department for troubleshooting.

  • Inability to start
  • Battery warning light appearing on the dashboard
  • Burning rubber smell under the hood
  • Dim headlights or interior lights
  • Whining or screeching sound after the vehicle has started
  • Devices not charging

Alternator vs. Battery Problems

Your battery and your alternator perform similar functions at different times. Your battery starts the car, while your alternator keeps your car running. Many drivers find themselves wondering whether to schedule a battery replacement or alternator replacement. One way to tell is during a jump start, what does your vehicle do? If your engine immediately fails after your jump, it’s likely an alternator issue. But, be sure to schedule an appointment to find out for sure.

How Much Is an Alternator?

An alternator usually lasts around seven years, or between 80,000 and 150,000 miles in – though factors like driving conditions and alternator quality can tremendously affect the lifespan. If your alternator fails, we recommend getting in touch with Jackson Family of Dealerships for a quote. Every make and model have different components, so it’s difficult to generalize. Whether you have a compact sedan or a pickup truck, our team can give you a quote for the best deal possible.

Find Out More with Jackson Family of Dealerships

Want more information about our parts and service at Jackson Family of Dealerships? Contact us to learn more about what we can offer you and your car, and stop by our dealership in Decatur for your visit!

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455 E. Pershing Road • Decatur, IL 62526

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Jackson Family of Dealerships 39.876491, -88.951453.