• Car Engine Parts

    What Does an Alternator Do?

    Trying to figure out what an alternator in a car actually does? Well, this extremely important car part sends power to the electrical system while a vehicle is running, basically working as a generator and using the gas engine as the source for energy. You may have thought that was the job of the car’s battery, but a battery only starts a car, whereas an alternator is vital to keep it running without issue. Let the experts at Cornerstone Plymouth bring you up to speed on everything about alternators.

Common Alternator Problems

Have you been having issues with your car and wondering if it may be a problem with your alternator? Check the following list of common alternator issues and, if you have been experiencing any of these problems, make your way to the Cornerstone Plymouth’s service center in Plymouth!

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

Failing Alternator or Failing Battery?

It is actually very common for drivers to mistake a failing alternator for a failing battery and vice versa. If your car is unable to start and needs a jump, then you can actually figure out which part is the issue. When you jump-start your engine, remove the cables after it starts up. If the engine immediately dies, then it is likely due to a failing alternator. If this is the case, contact us and schedule a service appointment as soon as possible!

How Long Does an Alternator Last?

The alternator in a vehicle should last around seven years, or between 80,000 and 150,000 miles. That large range of miles is not only due to the vehicle you have, but also these various factors:

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

How Much is an Alternator?

If you have a failing alternator, then your first worry will likely be, “How much is an alternator?” We definitely understand that way of thinking. However, this is a hard question to answer here since every model is different and may require a different kind of alternator. For more information on your specific model, you can always call us at 763-463-2848 to get a free quote.

Learn More About Your Vehicle with Cornerstone Plymouth

If you think you need a new alternator, don’t wait — schedule a service appointment today! We’re located in Plymouth, which is only a short drive from Minneapolis and Maple Grove. Also, check out our auto service coupons, discover the vast pre-owned vehicle inventory we have, and if you need anything else, feel free to reach out to our helpful representatives. For more information like this, check out our guide that tells you how long spark plugs last and when to use low gear We also have details on what to do if your car overheats.

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Cornerstone Plymouth 45.0272529, -93.4508119.