What Does an Alternator Do?

alternator

If any one of the three crucial parts of your car’s starting system don’t work — the starter, battery, or alternator — then your car won’t start correctly, and you could experience problems with any other electrical components throughout the vehicle. These components include power windows, power steering, headlights and other exterior lights, windshield wipers, defroster — and more. What does an alternator do? It plays an important role in providing power and recharging your battery on the go!
That’s why alternator problems can lead to everything from dim lights to engine stalling — definitely not something you want happening while you’re out on the Rumson roads. The best way to stay ahead of these issues is to get familiar with your alternator! What does an alternator do? This guide will give you a solid overview of what your alternator does, how to tell when it needs to be replaced, and how much you can expect that to cost.

How Your Alternator Works

The first thing your car needs to get started is juice from the battery. Then, your vehicle’s alternator works together with the battery, giving it the energy it needs to power the other electrical components of the vehicle. Then, the alternator uses a pulley to generate mechanical energy, and converts that energy into electrical current while the engine is running. The vehicle’s serpentine belt system controls the current based on the engine’s revolutions, distributing it smoothly to all the electrical components that need it.

How to Know When to Replace Your Alternator

What does an alternator do? It keeps your electrical components running by recharging your battery as you drive. An alternator typically lasts about seven years, or about 100,000 to 150,000 miles. (Compare that number to how long car brakes last if you’re building out a maintenance schedule.) However, other connected components, like the rotor and brushes, can break down over time and need replacing, too. Be on the lookout for the following red flags — they could mean your alternator is in trouble:

  • Dim dash lights
  • Illuminated service engine warning light
  • Strange noise
  • Problems with electrical systems, such as automatic windows, power seats, etc.
  • Problems starting the car (could also be the result of expired spark plugs)
  • Dead car battery

If you’re having trouble with your vehicle’s electrical systems, it may be that your alternator is fine and that you’re due for car battery replacement instead. Remember that if you’re in the Eatontown or Rumson areas, you can always rely on Land Rover Monmouth for expert advice, or call our Service Center to schedule service to replace your alternator!

How Much is an Alternator?

A brand new alternator will run you between $500 and $1000, and will usually carry a limited lifetime warranty. You can also go with a remanufactured alternator, which has undergone a major teardown and inspection, and had all its wear-and-tear components replaced with new ones. That means that every part has been replaced — not just those that appear worn, as is the case with a “rebuilt” alternator. In general, remanufactured alternator will carry the same warranty as one from the same supplier — but it’ll cost you a lot less, between $300 and $500.

Get Genuine Land Rover Parts at Land Rover Monmouth!

If you’re experiencing any of the car problems above, don’t hesitate to contact our service center, where we provide the full range of maintenance and repair services. Our parts department can help you find a genuine part for your model year and trim, and a certified service tech will install it so you can get safely back on the Colts Neck and Red Bank roads in no time.

Don’t miss even more maintenance tips and helpful guides on the Land Rover Monmouth blog!

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Land Rover Monmouth

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