What Does an Alternator Do?

Car Alternator


If you’re like many drivers in the Orchard Park area, you may be asking, “What does an alternator do?” The team at Robert Basil Buick GMC would be more than happy to answer any car alternator questions you may have. The car alternator sends power to the car’s electrical system when the vehicle is running. It is a common misconception that vehicles are powered by the battery. The battery simply starts the car. The alternator works like a generator and uses the gas engine as an energy source. Learn more about the alternator and how to diagnose potential problems with Robert Basil Buick GMC below.

Signs of a Bad Alternator

Do you think it is time to replace your alternator? If you notice any of the issues listed below, it is a good idea to have your vehicle looked at by our technicians. It could be that your alternator lifespan is coming to an end:

  • 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

Failing Alternator vs. Failing Battery

It can be difficult to determine whether problems with your vehicle are caused by a failing alternator or a failing battery. The best way to identify the cause of the problem is to wait until the vehicle is unable to start and requires a jump-start. If the vehicle dies immediately after receiving the jump-start, a faulty car alternator is likely to blame.

How Long Does an Alternator Last?

You may also be wondering about alternator lifespan. The average lifespan for most alternators ranges from 80,000 and 150,000 miles. Usually, an alternator lasts about seven years. There are a few factors that can affect your alternator lifespan on the roads of Blasdell.

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

How much does it cost to replace an alternator? Different alternators are required for different vehicles, so it is not possible to provide an exact alternator cost. Contact our team, and we would be more than happy to provide you with an estimate of the alternator cost for your vehicle.

Contact Robert Basil Buick GMC for More Information

At Robert Basil Buick GMC, we are delighted to answer any questions you may have, such as, “What does an alternator do?” If you have any additional questions about automotive repairs and maintenance, reach out to our experts today. You can also set up an appointment for service online. We want to ensure your car alternator performs at its best for as long as possible.

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Robert Basil Buick GMC 42.79053, -78.75772.