What Does an Alternator Do?

One of the most important components of a car is its alternator, which provides power to a car’s electrical system while it’s running. Some drivers confuse this function with a car’s battery, but batteries are actually only useful in the start-up process. A car’s alternator is actually very similar to a power generator, even using the car’s gas to fuel its energy. Discover more about the importance of a car’s alternator with our service department at Bettenhausen CDJR.

Common Alternator Problems

If you think your vehicle’s alternator has seen better days and your car has been experiencing any of these common problems, then it may be time you came to our service center near Mokena:

  • Devices no longer charging
  • Screeching and whining sounds after the vehicle has started
  • Inability to start
  • Battery warning light appearing on the dashboard
  • Dim headlights or interior lights
  • The scent of burning rubber under the hood

Differences Between a Failing Alternator and Failing Battery

One common mistake drivers make when their alternator is failing is to blame it on a bad battery, but there is a way to tell the difference. You can tell which component has truly failed when your vehicle is unable to start and needs a jump. In this case, if you are able to successfully jump-start the engine with jumper cables, remove the cables and see if the car continues to run. If the car dies again following the removal of the cables, then the culprit is probably a faulty alternator. If this is the case, you can bring your car in and have one of our certified technicians inspect your vehicle, so schedule a service appointment with us in Tinley Park.

How Long Does an Alternator Last?

Alternators typically can last up to seven years or 150,000 miles — whichever comes first. But, there are some important variables that can make an alternator fail sooner than those benchmarks:

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

How Much Does an Alternator Cost?

This commonly asked question is hard to answer due to different vehicles requiring different alternators, so prices actually vary. Interested patrons, however, can call us at 708-840-8252 to get a free quote on an alternator for their specific vehicle.

Come to Bettenhausen CDJR for Your New Alternator

If and when you need a new alternator for your vehicle, you can always browse our parts department, and we can help you get the alternator you need at a fair price. If your car is experiencing any issues, visit our service department as soon as you can. That way, we’ll have you comfortably driving through Orland Park and New Lenox as soon as possible. You are also free to contact us if you have any questions or are in need of further information.

Bettenhausen CDJR 41.6012094, -87.8228793.