Batteries and alternators are the backbone of your vehicle’s electrical system. Vehicle alternators produce electricity from mechanical rotational energy, which is then stored in your battery. It also supplies additional electricity to the vehicle’s accessories as needed. If you are looking for alternator repair St. Louis MO, give us a call at 314-869-2900!
Car Alternator Components
The alternator is comprised of several components, the main ones are the rotor (the rotating magnetic field), stator (the armature) and the bridge rectifier. The rotor combines mechanical rotation with electrical field wires, beginning the process of generating electricity. The car alternator rectifier converts the AC current to DC current to run modern electronics in your car. There are many other components and here is more information about car alternator specifications.
Car Alternator Troubleshooting
Car Alternator Overcharging Symptoms:
An alternator that is overcharging can fry your vehicle’s battery as well as other electrical components. An overcharged battery will most likely die. However, in some cases the battery can become extremely flammable and dangerous so it is very important to get your vehicle checked if you notice any of the following symptoms.
1. Car Battery Voltage Gauge Reading is High
You notice a high voltage reading on your cars vehicle’s dashboard. Normally there is a high reading for the ignition voltage, and then it settles around 13 or 14 volts. If the voltage reading is 15 volts or higher, get your vehicle checked.
2. Car Battery Gets Hot When Charging
If your car battery gets hot while charging, this means that overcharging is causing excess electrical charge to be radiated as heat. This also causes electrolytes from the battery to evaporate, causing low battery electrolyte levels.
3. Your Headlights Burn Out Quickly
An overcharging alternator can cause your headlights to burn out quickly, either together or one-by-one. If your headlights blow out prematurely, have your alternator checked.
4. Your Car Battery is Bulging on Sides
The build-up of hydrogen gas from an overcharging alternator causes your battery to swell. This also causes the battery to leak highly flammable liquid electrolyte, which is very dangerous. Please see a specialist right away if you notice this happening.
Car Alternator Failure Symptoms:
1. Alternator Light on Dashboard is On
If your check alternator light is on, then you should see a specialist right away before more symptoms start to occur.
2. Your Headlights Keep Flickering
In addition to charging the battery, the alternator powers the headlights. If you have a failing alternator it is likely that your headlight will start to lose power. They may flicker or go very dim.
3. Your Car Stops Running
Your car needs electricity to run in addition to gasoline. Electricity creates the spark that ignites your gasoline and creates power to your engine. The alternator and battery supply electrical charge to your spark plugs. So, if your alternator is failing, your car might stall or have difficulty starting.
4. Car Electrics Not Working
When your alternator goes bad, other electronics in your car might malfunction, too. These include your dashboard lights, radios, windows, etc.
5. There is a Car Alternator Bearing Noise
The bearing in your engine might break, which would cause a rattling noise. Of course, if you hear any kind of strange noises from your car, you should have a specialist perform a diagnostic.
6. Your Car Battery Dies
This would be the most obvious. Your battery will eventually die as your alternator fails to charge it. When replacing a dead battery, you should definitely have your alternator checked,
Car Alternator Lifespan
Your car alternator lifespan can shorten due to corrosion on battery terminals or on battery cable ends, which causes you alternator to work harder.
At Sant Automotive, we insist on using only high quality parts. The alternator brands that we use most often are AC Delco, Motorcraft, and Denso. AC Delco and Motorcraft are original equipment in Ford and General Motors vehicles, and Denso alternators are common in a variety of Asian vehicles.