If your car battery isn’t charging and you’ve already replaced it recently, you might be looking at an alternator replacement.  The alternator converts the energy of the engine into an AC electrical current (cars before the 1960s used DC electrical and we can work on those dynamos, too!) which powers the electrical components of the car (like your power windows) while also recharging the battery.  On average, an AC alternator lasts about 7 years, so an alternator replacement is something you should plan for as your car, truck, or SUV ages.

What’s Involved in an Alternator Replacement?

Alternator replacements are usually pretty straightforward: if the alternator needs to be replaced, the entire unit is replaced with a new one.  Some alternators are driven by the crankshaft of the engine while others use a separate belt off of the crankshaft, but most newer cars use a serpentine belt which integrates multiple components together.  Replacing your alternator will be guided by the type of installation arrangement your car uses.  Some alternators are easy to access as it is a part that is expected to be replaced, while others are deeper in the engine and other components will need to be moved.

These components mean your vehicle’s electrical problem may not even be an alternator that needs to be replaced.  It might be something as simple as an electrical cable that runs from the alternator to the breaker before the battery that needs to be replaced or reconnected.  In some cases, the failure is coming from a loose belt or a bad pulley.  If you haven’t had your battery tested yet, it might also be time for a new battery and not a new alternator.


Free Battery Testing

Are you concerned your car, truck, or SUV is having an electrical problem?  The best thing to do first is come by our shop in Paso Robles, California and ask to have your battery tested.  It is quick (although you may want to call ahead to make an appointment) and we can help you rule out the battery as the cause or not the cause of your electrical problem.  We can order a batter for you if you need a new one and put it in for you.  If your battery is fine and you still have concerns about the electrical in your vehicle, just ask for an appointment to check your electrical system and alternator.  We’ll perform a few diagnostic tests and be able to let you know what needs to be replaced.

Come By And See Us!

155 Marquita Avenue, Paso Robles, CA 93446  |  Auto Repair Shop:  (805) 226-8124

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