What Does an Alternator Do?

October 26th, 2018 by

Closeup of a car's alternator

The alternator has one important job: keeping your car’s electrical systems functioning correctly while the engine runs. It creates electric power and is a crucial part of the charging system inside your car. Alternator problems can lead to everything from dim lights to engine stalling. Triple J Saipan’s service center is here to fill you in on how the alternator works, how much it is, and when it’s time to replace the alternator.

How Does It Work?

While the engine is running, the alternator charges the battery by converting mechanical energy generated by a pulley into a current. The serpentine belt controls the system based on the engine’s revolutions. Usually, car alternators can operate for 7 to 10 years without maintenance or replacement, however, the rotor, brushes, and other connected auto parts break will down over time.

How Much is an Alternator?

The cost depends on the type. Remanufactured alternators range from $300 to $500 and may include a warranty of 1 to 3 years. New ones can cost $500 to $1,000 and often carry a limited lifetime warranty. Our parts department can help you find a genuine part for your Hyundai, Mazda, or Mitsubishi car’s year, model, and trim. We’ll also install it for you, so you can be sure it’s operating correctly.

Signs the Alternator is Bad

You may need a replacement if you notice the following red flags:

  • Dim dash lights
  • Illuminated service engine warning light
  • Strange noise
  • Problems with electrical systems, such as automatic windows, power seats, etc.
  • Problems starting the car
  • Dead car battery

Get Hyundai, Mazda, or Mitsubishi Service & OEM Parts at Triple J Saipan!

Are you experiencing any of the car problems listed above or another issue like flashing TPSM lights? If so, schedule a service visit at Triple J Saipan! Our factory-trained technicians can diagnose problems with the alternator or battery, and get you back on the road in no time.


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Posted in Maintenance, Service