What Does an Alternator Do?

When you first turn the ignition on in your vehicle, the battery charges the system up and starts the engine. Once it’s running, however, the alternator takes over and keeps the entire system charged, including the battery. It’s able to function like a generator through a belt drive connected to the engine.

Your alternator will not cause you any problems for many years. In fact, it is a maintenance-free part that lasts at least eight years. When it does begin to fail, however, you will need to repair it quickly. Some of the signs you’ll notice are dimming lights and console gauges that don’t work. Because it’s the charging unit, while your vehicle’s running, when it fails, there’s nothing to keep the battery charged. You can jump it temporarily, but once you shut the engine off, it will require another jump.

Don’t hesitate to stop by Hendrick Dodge in Cary when you see signs of trouble with the alternator. We are happy to help keep you safely on the road.

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