How Long Should My Alternator Last?

How Long Should My Alternator Last?

Your alternator is a part of your vehicle’s engine that is essentially an electrical generator. As you vehicle runs, the alternator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy, powering and providing a continuous charge to the battery, onboard computer, and other electrical components.

While your battery is what starts your vehicle, it is the alternator that powers the electronics within your car as you listen to music or punch in directions. The typical lifespan of an alternator varies significantly depending on the amount of wear placed on the device, as well as aftermarket components and the climate you drive in.

Your Alternator Might Be Broken If:

  • The brightness of your headlights fluctuates rapidly during night conditions
  • The smell of burning electronics is coming from your engine or battery
  • Your “Alternator Warning Light,” or an alert for another electronic component is illuminated
  • Your radio or other electronics don’t consistently function

Maintain Your Alternator By:

  • Ensuring all aftermarket electronic devices are installed correctly
  • Properly jump-starting your car, when necessary
  • Making sure there are no fluids or leaks seeping into the alternator
  • Ensuring all belts are at proper tightness – an overly snug fit can cause undue stress on your vehicle’s charging system
  • Taking your vehicle to a professional if you suspect something is wrong with your battery or alternator