You’ve probably noticed a bunch of warning lights on your dash when you start your engine. They flash on to test the circuits and then go off if everything’s okay. One of the warning lights looks like a car battery. Its job is to tell you if your battery is not charging properly. Now, you know that your battery stores electricity, enough to start your engine and get you moving, but that’s about it. You can only get a few miles on battery power alone.
You need an alternator to generate enough electricity to run your engine and power your electrical accessories, like the stereo, power seats, heater fan, onboard computers and so on. On top of that, the alternator needs to recharge your battery. So when your alternator isn’t working properly, there isn’t enough electricity for all those things. One thing’s for sure, when your alternator fails, you aren’t going very far. Why would your alternator not work? Usually they’ve simply worn out. Alternators are driven by your serpentine belt and spin two to three times faster than the engine. That’s a lot of work! The bearings wear out, as do the copper wire coils and magnets that generate the electricity. There’s no sense in hobbling along with an alternator that’s not working properly. It will fail at some point and leave you stranded. Get a bad alternator replaced as soon as you can. A qualified service technician here at Elite Auto Repair will test and install an alternator that meets your manufacturer’s specifications. Some folks use a lot of additional electrical gizmos in the car, like computers and DVD players, or may regularly tow a camp trailer with a battery that recharges as you drive. If that sounds like you, talk with your service advisor about upgrading to a more heavy duty alternator to meet your needs.
Let’s talk windshield wiper blades. Now, that may seem like a pretty mundane topic, but think about how important your vision is. We work hard to protect our eyes. If we need contacts or glasses, we take care of them too. Well, wiper blades are critical to our vision when we drive. We all really ought to think about wipers as part of an important safety system. We should think about maintaining safety, not just responding when our wiper blades fail.