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.
Living in the Valley of The Sun you probably don’t do much driving on snow and ice. And that could be more of an issue than you might realize, especially if you plan on doing a little snow skiing this winter up north. A little advanced knowledge in driving in winter conditions could save you from some expensive repairs or even physical harm.
This week were going deep inside the Petersen Automotive vault in the first of a two-part series to show you some of the most important cars in automotive history. Cars featured in this episode: 1885 Benz (Replica), 1912 De Dion Bouton, 1967 Ford GT40 MK III, Ford Thunderbird, 1955 Porsche (356) Continental, 1967 Dodge Coronet, 1967 Toyota 2000GT, Foose Sniper, 1925 Ford Golden Star, 1952 Ferrari 212/225 Barchetta, 1929 DuPont Model G, 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom, 1939 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante.