What Does an Alternator Do?

Car Alternator

As a car owner, you no doubt know that the alternator is part of the electrical system on your vehicle, but what does an alternator do? To state it simply, the alternator sends power to the car’s electrical system while the vehicle is running. Some drivers may think that it’s the battery that powers the car, but the battery is only used to start the vehicle, it’s the alternator that does all of the heavy lifting to keep your electrical systems working. How long does an alternator last and how much is an alternator? Find out in this guide from the Capital GMC Buick service centre in Regina.

How Can I Tell If My Alternator Needs to Be Replaced? 

Concerned that your alternator may be on its way out? Here are some warning signs that indicate it’s time for a new alternator: 

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

Signs of a Failing Alternator vs. Battery

It’s easy to mistake a failing alternator for a failing battery. One way to identify the cause of the problem is to wait until the vehicle is unable to start and needs a jump. After you jump start the engine, remove the jumper cables. If the car dies immediately, the problem is likely your alternator. To get a professional diagnosis, schedule a service appointment at Capital GMC Buick. Our certified technicians can quickly test your alternator and electrical system, resolve the issue, and get you back on Southey-area roads in no time at all.

How Long Does an Alternator Last?

Alternators typically have a lifespan of about seven years. However, there are some factors that can cause your alternator to wear out prematurely:

  • Alternator quality
  • Driving conditions
  • Power drain on the alternator

When you bring your vehicle in for scheduled maintenance service at Capital GMC Buick, our team will check your alternator, as well as all of the other vital components of your electrical system, to ensure that they are working properly.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace an Alternator?

Different types of vehicles require different types of alternators, so it’s impossible to say exactly how much your alternator will cost. The best thing to do is to contact our parts centre. We carry a wide variety of alternators for vehicles of all kinds, and you can count on our experienced technicians to install your new alternator for you.

For Alternator Service or Replacement Visit Capital GMC Buick

You can count on the GM Certified Service offered at Capital GMC Buick to help keep your car, truck, or SUV always running in top condition on Emerald Park roads and beyond. Make sure to check out our current service specials and coupons to take advantage of some of the best deals in the White City area. Contact us with any questions or stop by our service centre in Regina today!

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