You must’ve heard someone say that the battery is down when you’re unable to start a car. But have you ever wondered what keeps it charged in the first place? It’s the alternator.
An alternator is the part that charges the battery in your car. When you use electrical components in your car (stereo, lights, etc.), the battery loses power. The alternator recharges the battery, replenishing the lost battery power. It is found in the engine compartment. Usually, an alternator is a long lasting device, but in case it stops functioning, the car will run for only as long as your battery drains completely. Once the battery loses power, your car will not start. Normally, a faulty alternator will turn on the battery warning light or will have a low volt gauge reading.
Most alternators damage in their natural way i.e. wear and tear after long usage. However, there are a few ways an alternator can be damaged prematurely.
An alternator may encounter a physical damage such as a damaged or missing protective engine cover or shield. Water is the enemy of an alternator. The water splashing from the road enters the alternator and accelerates the wearing off process. If your engine undershield or cover is damaged, replace it to keep the engine compartment clean and dry. Coolants and oil can also be a reason for this wearing off. Similarly, while washing the car using shampoo and water, extra care must be taken to safeguard the alternator and protect it from exposure towards moisture.
The insides of the car has a lot of electrical components like radio, ac, lights, etc. These work on the power supplied by the battery. Also, the car’s ignition requires a certain voltage from the battery to work. Therefore, a charged battery is a must for the car to work from any angle. But without an alternator or with a damaged alternator, the battery cannot charge and so the car won’t start. This is why an alternator is a very integral part of the car’s system and it is imperative to keep it repaired and working smoothly.