Your car battery is essential for your vehicle, but it's not the only thing that makes a difference in whether you can turn on and use electronic accessories. Your alternator also has an important job. This little machine keeps the charge going, everything from the headlights, electric steering, and dashboard instruments. Moreover, the alternator is a critical component as it functions like your generator. The engine generates power and sends it through the electrical system of your vehicle.
The alternator functions by spinning mechanical energy into electrical energy. Once the engine is purring, it starts up a belt that lays on a pulley linked to the alternator. The pulley churns the rotor shaft of the alternator that spins a couple of magnets around the coil. The spinning magnets produce alternating current (AC) around the coil. All this is directed to the alternator's rectifier, which converts the AC into direct current (DC) power. DC activates the electrical systems of a car.
Typically, an alternator lasts the lifespan of a vehicle, but that is not always the case. Repeated heat damage, wear and tear, overuse, faulty parts, and overuse can fry your alternator, even before the car is significantly old.
Signs Your Alternator Needs Changing
Without a functional alternator, your vehicle will not start. However, when the car exhibits signs of a bad alternator, we usually mistake them for battery issues. So, let's go through the tell-tale signs that will warn you of an alternator change.
Overly Bright or Dim Lights
A damaged alternator causes electrical fluctuations in the car's electronic accessories. Alternator malfunction usually can be experienced in the form of over-performing or underperforming equipment. Headlights will sometimes be too bright or too dim; they may also begin flickering erratically.
Indeed, there are other reasons for a dead battery, like leaving your headlights on all night, or it could be a warning of a malfunctioning alternator.
As an alternator is responsible for charging the battery, however, a lousy alternator won't be able to charge the car while it's running. One way to confirm if the issue is with the battery or the alternator is by jump starting the vehicle. If the car turns on and remains that way, it's a battery issue. On the other hand, if the vehicle turns and immediately turns off, this determines that your alternator is not able to power the battery. And it needs to be replaced.
Malfunctioning or Slow Accessories
A faulty alternator will not supply adequate power to the car's electronics, resulting in glitchy or non-working accessories. If you notice that your car windows are taking longer than usual to roll up or down, or your vehicle's speedometer goes haywire, you got yourself an alternator problem.
Several modern vehicles have a priorities list of functions programmed into the car's system, indicating to the vehicle's computer to cut power from the non-essential accessories first. For example, if you are driving and the alternator breaks down, the music system will shut down first instead of the headlights.
Frequent Stalling or Trouble Starting
A failing alternator will give you trouble starting up your vehicle as it isn't charging the battery sufficiently. And as we already know that the battery is required to kick start the car. Also, when you turn on the vehicle, it will probably make odd clicking sounds as well.
On the flip, if your vehicle frequently stalls out while driving, it is a possibility that the spark plugs and coils are not receiving enough energy from the alternator to keep the engine going.
Whining or Growling Noises
Cars making odd sounds is not new; they may be due to severe causes and sometimes not. However, if you are dealing with a bad alternator, you will likely hear struggling sounds from under the hood.
The cause for these sounds is the misaligned pulley in the alternator. Also, there may be additional sounds you may hear coming from the spinning rotor shaft.
The Stench of Burning Wires or Rubber
The alternator's belt is located close to the engine that gets hot, and it is constantly subject to friction and tension. This may cause the belt to get overworked and produce an unpleasant burning smell.
Battery Warning on Dash
When one sees the battery warning sign light up on the dashboard, it is always assumed to be a battery-related problem. But what the battery warning also indicates is a general electrical system related issue or even a problem with the alternator.
All alternators are created to function at a precise voltage, between 13-14.5 volts. However, if your alternator is failing, its voltage can drop below the average capacity, which causes the battery warning sign to light up. Likewise, the same can happen if your alternator is surpassing its voltage limit; it all depends on how much strain it's under.
A flickering battery warning light indicates that your alternator is fluctuating in and out of the average voltage capacity. It may seem like a little inconvenience, but it is better to get looked at than be stuck with a broken-down car in the centre of traffic.
Why Should You Consider Just Jeep Auto Wreckers To Buy Alternator For Jeep Cherokee In Australia?
Just Jeeps Auto Wreckers has been in the auto business for over 30 years. Such experience working in the automation industry has given us the ability to provide quality services with a skilled staff. We offer durable and high-quality alternators that are suitable for your Jeep Cherokee perfectly. So you are worry-free and enjoy every drive on your vehicle. Moreover, customer satisfaction is our top priority; we provide both online and offline services. Plus, we have stores available for easy access all over Australia.