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Call us on 4228 7949
Call us on 4228 7949

How Often do Alternators need replacing ?

The alternator is located on the engine and is responsible for supplying power to the battery. This keeps the battery charged and the car’s electrical and computer systems operational.

The alternator works as hard as any other component of your vehicle, so it will eventually fail. An alternator has an average lifespan of seven years, or approximately 150,000 miles. Factors such as the quality of the alternator, the overall condition of the vehicle, and the number of electronics used in the car can all have an impact on the lifespan of your alternator.

There are various indicators of a failed alternator. Here are the signs to look out for:

1. The alternator warning light turns on

A dash light is one of the most obvious signs of a charging system issue. Most automobiles manufactured within the last decade should contain a separate alternator warning dash light to detect an alternator issue. Some vehicles use their battery light or check engine light, but others may show “ALT” or “GEN,” hinting at the alternator or generator.

2. Strange sound

Cars generate a variety of noises, some of which are entirely normal and others that might signify major issues. A growling or whining noise is a usually sign of a malfunctioning alternator.

If the alternator pulley is not correctly aligned with the drive belt, or the alternator bearings are worn out, a growling or whining noise is produced, signalling an alternator problem. Avoid keeping a defective alternator on for too long, since this might cause engine damage. If this occurs, you will most likely begin to hear rattling from inside your engine as a result of broken engine bearings.

3. Lights that are too dim or too bright

Electrical breakdowns are one of the earliest indicators of failed alternators since the alternator operates your car’s electrical system. You may notice flickering headlights or interior lights that are fading or becoming too bright. Your speedometer, tachometer, dashboard lighting, or radio may also stop functioning unexpectedly.

4. Unpleasant odours

If you notice an unusual odour, it’s possible that your alternator is overheating or working too hard. This occurs because the alternator’s belt is always under stress since it is so near to the engine. The belt may begin to wear down over time and generate an awful burning rubber odour.

If you smell an electrical fire odour, it might be the alternator’s wiring, and you could be on the verge of alternator failure. A Car Mechanic in Wollongong can help you resolve these issues.

How to maintain your alternator

Along with keeping an eye out for any red flags, there are some things you can do to protect the alternator to help keep it working for as long as possible. This includes:

• Make sure you know how to jump-start the automobile correctly as an incorrect jump might damage the alternator.
• Improperly installed electronics can overload the alternator, so be cautious when adding high-tech accessories to the vehicle.
• Watch out for alternator fluid leaks – having the car examined periodically helps keep you attentive to this.
• If you detect any of the warning indications of a failing battery or alternator get the problem serviced straight away.
• If you do need to replace the alternator, aim to get a new one rather than a ‘re-manufactured’ one.

Contact us at (02) 4228 7949 for a fast quote or visit us at to learn more.

We service Figtree, Shoalhaven Heads, Mount Pleasant, Wollongong, Greenwell Point, Kiama, Corrimal, Warilla, Albion Park Rail, Worrigee and surrounding areas.