Car Alternators 101
What They are; What They Do
They're primary parts of vehicles' charging systems (along with batteries and voltage regulators). Where a battery starts a vehicle, an alternator charges it, converting mechanical energy into electrical energy and helping to run several other electrical systems under the hood: the power windows, steering, dash display, windshield wiper blades, entertainment system, and even things like heated seats.
How One Works
As part of a process: the engine runs a drive belt, which turns a pulley, which spins a rotor shaft, which turns some magnetic coils, producing alternating current (AC power). A rectifier on the alternator captures the charge and turns it into direct current (DC power). The vehicle can then start up and stay running.>
The Signs of Problems with One
Unfortunately, no alternator lasts forever. They can sometimes go bad, often without warning. The causes range from improper jump-starts and incompatible accessory installs to broken-down parts and plain old age. The symptoms of failure are easy to identify. They include:
- Car radio and headlighting malfunctions
- A burning smell under the hood
- A whining engine
- Total charging system failure
- A dead battery
If you think your vehicle has them, run a comprehensive inspection and test your charging system. Otherwise, you should replace your alternator about every 7 years. That's approximately every 80,000 to 150,000 miles or so. However, double-check your owner's manual; it'll tell you when it's time for a change. When you buy a new alternator, order the genuine article.
Why Buy a Genuine OEM Alternator?
What Mopar manufactures will fit the brand and model you drive best. The aftermarket can't always make the same promise.
Where to Order Replacement Mopar Alternators and Parts Online
Our auto parts store has what you need. Whether you want to browse for a Dodge alternator specifically or parts for one from another brand, we've made finding everything easy. Simply select your make, model, and model year from our catalog. Buy now, and we'll ship your order out in anywhere from 24 hours to 2-3 business days minimum, depending on stock -- anywhere in the US, too. Overnight shipping is available as well, unless, of course, you'd prefer local pickup at our warehouse at 1708 Marlton Pike W. location in Cherry Hill NJ. Returns and cancellations, on the other hand, are as easy as contacting us to start the process.
Have a question or concern that needs an expert's opinion? Maybe you just need some advice on how to buy an alternator. In any case, feel free to get in touch with us. One of the specialists on our parts team will be happy to help.
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