At some point, everyone owns a ride that dies and refuses to restart. It's easy to blame this on the battery, and customers of our Putnam Mazda service department often do. When our service techs mention the possibility of a problem with the alternator instead of the battery, people are often confused. It's understandable. What exactly is an alternator and what does it do?

The Source of Vehicle Electricity

An alternator is a vehicle generator that turns mechanical energy into electricity. The alternator collects this energy from the motion of your car's spinning wheels. The electricity generated from this process powers each car's electrical systems and recharges the battery.

How to Spot Alternator Problems

The most obvious symptoms of alternator problems are dimming/flashing interior/exterior lights, gauges that blink or a radio that doesn't come on. A burning rubber smell from a frying alternator belt is another symptom. Many instrument clusters have a warning light, such as "GEN" or "ALT," to indicate a less-than-stellar alternator condition.

To keep your car's electrical systems and other systems running efficiently, visit our Burlingame dealership service department. We'll correct whatever needs correction and take the stress out of vehicle maintenance. We look forward to meeting you.

 

Categories: Service