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What Does an Alternator Do?

Car Alternator
 
Most Redondo Beach drivers don’t know the answers to the questions, “What does an alternator do?” or “how much is an alternator?”. That’s okay. South Bay Mazda is here to help. Simply put, an alternator sends power to your car’s electrical system while it’s running. You might think your battery powers the car, but it’s actually just used to get the alternator going. The alternator is your generator and uses gas as its source of energy to keep the car moving.

Read on to learn about the signs that it’s time to replace your alternator, and if you have any more automotive questions, explore our Mazda service tips. If you think you need a new alternator, get in touch with the service department at South Bay Mazda for help.
 

 

What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Alternator?

Now that you could answer the question, “What does an alternator do?”, yourself, it’s time to learn about the signs that yours is on the fritz.

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

Signs of a Failing Alternator vs. Battery

Most often, Manhattan Beach drivers with alternator issues will think their car battery is dying. One test to distinguish whether or not you’re having alternator issues is to jumpstart your car, and then abruptly remove the cables from your battery. If your vehicle immediately dies, have your alternator inspected in Torrance at our garage.

How Long Does an Alternator Last?

Hawthorne drivers can expect the majority of alternators to last from anywhere between 80,000 and 150,000 miles — roughly seven years. That said, if you drive with a lead foot or your alternator was cheap, you may need one sooner.

How Much Is an Alternator?

So, how much is an alternator? That depends. There’s quite a bit of variety in the world of alternators. It’s impossible to give you a quote without knowing more about your vehicle and the alternators that it is compatible with. For more specific information, get in touch with our service department.

Contact South Bay Mazda for Help

If you think you’re due for a replacement alternator, get in touch with the service department at South Bay Mazda. We’ll make sure we get to the root of your vehicle’s issues effectively and affordably. If you have other questions about service topics, be sure to check our other parts tips for informative reads on topics like how to interpret your check engine light.

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