What Does an Alternator Do?

Close up picture of a vehicle's alternator

While many drivers assume the electrical components of the vehicle are powered by the battery, it’s a common misconception. They’re actually powered by the alternator. Have you ever found yourself wondering, “What does an alternator do?” The alternator is what keeps your car going on the Depew roads. If you have any trouble with your alternator, have any questions, or any other issues with your car, contact Joe Basil Chevrolet service center today.

Common Alternator Problems

There are many indicators that your alternator might be nearing the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced:

  • Dimming headlights or interior lights
  • Problems charging devices using your in-car power sources
  • Your automobile won’t start
  • Screeching sound when the vehicle starts
  • Your low battery warning light is on in your dashboard
  • The odor of burning rubber coming from underneath the hood

Failing Alternator or Failing Battery?

Even if you’re experiencing one or more of the signs above, it might still be a battery issue. How do you know if the issue is caused by a failing battery or failing alternator? One way to figure out the cause of the problem is that if your vehicle won’t start, find someone to give you a jump-start. If it dies right after you take the jumper cables off, you’re probably dealing with a failing alternator. If it keeps running when you remove the jumper cables, your battery is most likely the issue. If you need help, contact the service center at Joe Basil Chevrolet. Our technicians can have your vehicle up and running smoothly in no time.

How Long Does an Alternator Last?

An alternator should have a useful life of between 80,000 to 150,000 miles, or around 7-10 years, whichever comes first. However, if you drive your car around Cheektowaga backroads with a lead foot, you might have to replace your alternator more often. If the time comes to replace this part, check out our online inventory at the Joe Basil Chevrolet parts department. Using aftermarket parts instead of genuine Mitsubishi OEM parts could mean having to replace the alternator again before its time. Genuine OEM parts are built specifically for your make and model and aftermarket parts are built to fit many different makes, meaning they won’t fit as they should. Check out our inventory of parts and order online today!

How Much is an Alternator?

The cost of an alternator varies depending on the type of vehicle, how old it is, and where you purchase your alternator. The best way to get an estimate is to contact our parts department for a free quote. If for some reason we don’t have the part you need in stock, you can order online and the technicians at the Joe Basil Chevrolet service center will do the installation when it arrives.

Have Your Car Serviced at Joe Basil Chevrolet Today

Learn more about your vehicle’s alternator, engine, and more, like how to check your oil, when you make the trip to Joe Basil Chevrolet. Our team is here to help you find the parts you need as well as parts and service specials to help you save. Have any questions in the meantime or want to learn about our community involvement? Don’t hesitate to contact us!

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