How Driving Short Distances Affects Your Car
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Alternators are critical to the overall health of your vehicle. The alternator is what charges your battery. The battery then provides power to the electrical system. If the alternator isn’t working properly, your car will only be as powerful as your remaining battery storage. If you're experiencing any alternator symptoms, get it checked out by an expert technician at your local Firestone Complete Auto Care. After a vehicle inspection, we can perform an alternator repair or replacement if required, and get you back on the road in no time.
While the battery is essential for starting your car, the alternator keeps your car running while you drive. The alternator powers most car’s electronic components including the headlights, electric steering, power windows, windshield wipers, dashboard instruments, and the radio. The alternator charges the battery, and the battery supplies the electricity your vehicle needs to continue running.
The alternator works by turning mechanical energy into electrical energy. When your engine is on, it powers a drive belt that rests on a pulley attached to the alternator. The pulley turns the alternator’s rotor shaft, which spins a set of magnets inside a coil. These spinning magnets generate alternating current around the coil, which is then channeled to the alternator’s rectifier. The rectifier converts that AC power into DC power. Most passenger vehicles operate on a 12 volt DC system.
Look for the following car symptoms to know if you’re experiencing battery problems or signs of a bad alternator:
Alternator problems can’t be fixed with a jump start or battery maintenance. If you think you may be experiencing issues with your vehicle's alternator, head to your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care to diagnose and repair alternator issues before they get worse.
Immediate attention to an alternator issue can help you avoid further damage. During the vehicle starting and charging system check, our expert auto technicians will examine your vehicle's alternator and electrical system. We'll replace your vehicle's alternator as necessary to keep your vehicle running newer, longer.
Can a car run with a bad alternator? Potentially. However, a bad alternator may not sufficiently charge the battery, which means your vehicle won't have enough power to start or run for very long.
If you’re experiencing symptoms or signs of a bad alternator, schedule a starting and charging system test as soon as possible. If you’re reaching the end of your alternator lifetime, schedule an appointment with a Firestone Complete Auto Care location near you. Our expert technicians will inspect your alternator and make service recommendations to help keep your vehicle running newer, longer.
All cars have a battery, but not all car batteries are the same! Learn the types of car batteries to help you understand the best one for your vehicle.