Alternators are parts on a car that are absolutely necessary for charging your battery. Back in older times they used to be called generators, but now alternators are parts that power your battery when the car is running and allow your car to charge up when it needs to. If the alternator is bad your car’s not going to get the charge it needs and as a result the battery’s going to go dead pretty quickly.
How To Diagnose A Bad Alternator
If the alternator’s bad your battery light’s going to go on pretty fast. This is a red light that’s shaped like and that looks like a battery. This indicates that your battery’s not getting charged with new power when the cars running and pretty soon your car will sap all of it’s power. Even if you get a jump, it’ll go dead soon after if it’s the alternator because there’s nothing charging the car any longer.
While seeing if the battery light on the dashboard is on is a good way to check if it’s the alternator, probably the best way is to get a jump and see if the car continues to run and charge up. If the car’s battery dies again soon after while it’s running, it’s very likely the alternator, if not, it may be something else.
Removing The Alternator And Getting Ready To Install A New One
In order to replace or rebuild the alternator, you’ll have to take it out. This might seem like a daunting task but it can actually be very easy if you know what you’re doing. In some cars the alternator is at the top of everything, and there’s no need to take anything else out or move anything before you decide to take the alternator out. In other cars the alternator is under many other parts, in these cases it’s very important to keep a log of what goes where and make sure that you remember how you removed everything that’s blocking your access to the alternator and of course how it goes back in.
When taking out the alternator, loosen the belt by loosening the belt tensioner, if you have a serpentine belt. Once the serpentine belt is loose, if you have one, then remove the bolts that are holding the alternator in by turning them counterclockwise with a fitting rachet and socket set or a box wrench. Once the bolts are loose and have been removed, sometimes the alternators still stuck in place just from being there for so long. Use some old fashion strength and wiggle it out, pull until it comes out and use some WD-40 or other lubricating fluid if necessary to get the old alternator out.