What is an Alternator Exactly?

We here at Volvo Cars West Springfield love nothing more than to share our auto knowledge with interested drivers. We get questions about alternators all of the time. What is an alternator? An alternator is a generator. When your car's in motion, the alternator transforms energy from motion into electricity that your car can use.

Components That Rely on the Alternator

Every electrical component in your car relies on energy from the alternator. The alternator even recharges your car battery. Here's where it gets tricky. Your car's fully charged battery merely initiates the starter, which gets the engine to crank. For the rest of the while thereafter, it's your alternator that's supplying juice to all the other electrical components, like your headlights, radio and windshield wipers.

How to Pinpoint a Failing Alternator

How do you know if your battery or your alternator are dead? Easy. If electrical components in your car start to act strange or unreliably, it's a sure sign of a dicey alternator. Alternators have a 7-year lifespan or thereabouts. To ensure proper alternator health, swing by our dealership in West Springfield for a diagnostic and more useful tips on alternators and batteries.

 

 

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