What Does an Alternator Do?

Car Alternator

As you travel from Omaha to Beatrice on your daily commute, you might wonder, “What does an alternator do?” Simply put, an alternator sends power to the electrical systems of your vehicle while it’s running. Many drivers confuse the purpose of the alternator with the function of the battery, so we’re here to help answer all of your alternator questions! Review our service tips below to improve your knowledge of your vehicle. 

What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Alternator?

Understanding the role of an alternator is only half the battle. If you’re a conscientious driver, you likely want to be able to recognize when your alternator is going bad. Symptoms of a bad alternator include:

  • Battery warning light in 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

As previously mentioned, it’s easy to confuse the role of your car’s battery and alternator. The best way to determine if you’re dealing with a bad alternator or a dead battery is to wait until the vehicle is unable to start and needs a jump. Jump-start the vehicle, and monitor its power. If the car dies right away, you’re almost certainly dealing with a bad alternator. If that’s the case, you’ll want to visit us in Lincoln for service right away!

How Long Does an Alternator Last?

Typically, alternators last between 80,000 and 150,000 miles. For most Hickman drivers, this equates to about seven years of driving. However, there are some factors that can cause your alternator to wear out ahead of schedule:

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

How Much Is an Alternator?

How much is an alternator? Since different vehicles require different alternators, it’s impossible to give a generic quote that will apply to all vehicles. However, you can give us a call to get an estimate of what your repairs will cost. What’s more, you can always browse our service and parts coupons to save big when you visit Sid Dillon Buick of Lincoln for service!

Visit Sid Dillon Buick of Lincoln for a New Alternator & More!

Now that you can answer the question, “What does an alternator do?”, you can keep tabs on the health of your vehicle. Along with answering questions like, “How much is an alternator?”, our team offers insight on a broad range of car care topics. Whether you want to know how to use a car battery charger or how often to change your oil, we have tips for you! Visit us in Lincoln if you need professional automotive service. 

 

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