What Does an Alternator Do?

DGDG 2018 Chevy Equinox
You know your alternator is an essential part to your vehicle, but what does an alternator do? The alternator sends power to the car’s electrical system while the car is running. San Jose drivers may assume the battery powers the car, but it’s only used to start it, while the alternator leverages the gas engine as its source of energy. Learn more about what an alternator does and how much it costs to replace from the service center at Del Grande Dealer Group.

What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Alternator?

If you’ve noticed some of the following problems with your alternator during your daily commute around San Francisco, then it may be time to have your vehicle brought in for an inspection:

  • 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

A worn alternator can commonly be mistaken for a failing battery, and you can find the issue by waiting until the vehicle is unable to start and needs a jump. Try jump-starting the engine, and remove the jumper cables after the car starts. If it dies right away, then you may have to get a new alternator.

How Long Does an Alternator Last?

An alternator should last between 80,000 and 150,000 miles or about seven years, but there are other conditions that can cause it to be worn down earlier. These include:

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

How Much is an Alternator Replacement?

Since different makes and models come with their own alternators, this will ultimately play a factor in how much your alternator replacement costs. You can always turn to our expert technicians at Del Grande Dealer Group for a free quote on a wide range of alternators that are designed for your particular vehicle.

Schedule Your Next Auto Service Visit at  Del Grande Dealer Group

Now that you know more about what an alternator does and how much a replacement costs, you’ll have everything you need to get back on San Francisco roads. Explore more helpful service guides at Del Grande Dealer Group and save on your next visit when you take advantage of our maintenance specials and coupons. We also have a great inventory of OEM parts and accessories that will continue to enhance your vehicle. Contact us today to schedule an appointment in San Jose!

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