As team members at Lithia Toyota of Springfield, we have the joy of becoming all-purpose experts on all things automobile. From the major to the obscure, we know a bit. Take a vehicle alternator, for example. It's a common and very important part of a car's electrical system, but what is it exactly? What does it do?

Alternators: the Basics

An alternator transforms mechanical energy from your car's spinning wheels into electricity. This electricity powers your car's starter, its many electrical components and recharges your car's battery. Surprisingly, the alternator didn't become standard until 1960 when Chrysler incorporated it into their Valiant. Before this, alternators made brief appearances in the Ford Model T and specially designed WWII vehicles.

How to Sniff Out Alternator Problems

The smell of burning rubber from overheated alternator belts may indicate an alternator problem. Also, if your vehicle dies right after getting a jump start, the alternator and not the battery might be at fault. Alternators usually put in a good five to seven years of hard work before needing replacement.

Schedule an appointment at our Springfield dealership service department today, and let us check your car's electrical system and other systems for good measure.


Categories: Service