What Do Alternators Do? | in San Diego County, CA | West Automotive Group
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What Does My Car’s Alternator Do?

Auto Alternators 101

What Is an Alternator?

When it comes to your vehicle’s electrical components, including the lights, radio, and heated seats, you may assume that the battery is the main player. However, the battery gets by with a little help from its friends, including the alternator. But what exactly is an alternator, what does it do, and how can you tell if yours needs to be replaced?

Don’t worry! The auto electrical repair mechanics at West Automotive Group in San Diego County, California, are here to help. Your vehicle’s alternator is a tiny generator located under the hood. Powered by a belt that’s on the engine, the alternator converts mechanical motion into electrical energy, sending currents to all of your car’s electronic components and allowing them to work. If your alternator fails to work, you may notice issues with your audio system, windshield wipers, heated seats, power windows, lights, dashboard instruments, and more.

Does Your Car Have a Failing Alternator?

Most alternators will last between 80,000 to 150,000 miles or seven to ten years. However, depending on your make and model and driving habits, your car could need a new alternator much sooner. If you drive hard or don’t take proper care of your car, the alternator could be put at risk.

  A few signs that your vehicle might need a new alternator include:

  • Overly bright or dim lights, including the headlights and interior lights
  • A dead or dying battery
  • Frequent stalling or issues with the engine starting
  • Malfunctioning accessories, such as your seat warmers or radio
  • Strange smells that resemble burning wires or rubber
  • An illuminated battery warning light on the dashboard
  • Whining or grinding noises coming from under your hood

If you notice any of these red flags, call the auto electrical repair technicians at West Automotive Group in San Diego County, California, or visit us at one of our [autolab_locations_count] locations. We will take a look under the hood and determine if your alternator needs to be replaced.

Quality Auto Electrical Repairs in San Diego County, California

For over 15 years, the highly-experienced mechanics at West Automotive Group in San Diego County, California, have delivered trustworthy, quality, affordable auto electrical repair solutions to our customers. Whether you need a new alternator, have issues with your power steering system, see flickering dashboard lights, or need a battery replacement, we can help. That’s why motorists across the region have been coming to one of our [autolab_locations_count] AAA-Approved automotive repair shops for years. Call us today if your alternator is worn out.


Contact West Automotive Group in San Diego County, California, for all your auto repairs and maintenance needs. Contact us today!

Written by West Automotive Group