Todays Helpful Hint

Alternator Repair and Replacement in New Berlin

Engine Maintenance >> Alternator Repair & Maintenance

Alternator repair and replacement in New BerlinSymptoms of Alternator Failure

  • Engine barely turns over when starting
  • Radio starts cut out
  • Dash lights start to dim
  • Heater cuts out
  • Headlights dim and stop working
  • Engine starts to misfire and diess

Testing for Alternator’s Load Strength

A voltmeter can help you test your alternator’s strength if you see any of the symptoms above. If you don’t have one at home, your local car repair shop or car parts shop will definitely have one. Just ask them to test it so you know whether to replace it.

If you’re testing for yourself, connect the red wire to the positive node and the black wire to the negative node. Switch the setting to DC. The meter should read approximately 14 volts when running at 1,000 RPMs with none of the accessories turn on. Anything less than 12 volts could be a problem.

Ravenswood Auto offers starter repair if the alternator doesn't appear to be the issue. 

Fix my Alternator

Voltmeter to test your alternatorAlternator Parts and What they do?

  • S terminal – senses voltage
  • IG terminal – ignition switch for voltage regulator
  • F terminal – full-field regulator bypass
  • B terminal – main output
  • L terminal – stops warning lamp
  • Rotor shaft – spins the rotor
  • Internal cooling fan (2x) – cool the alternator
  • Bearings – let rotor spin freely
  • Slip rings – help conduct current to field winding
  • Field windings – produces magnetic field
  • Finger poles – housing for the rotor
  • Diode rectifier – converts AC current to DC
  • Voltage regulator – distributes the power
  • Brushes – help conduct current to field winding
  • Stator – passageway for current to flow through

What do Alternators do?

Alternators, in conjunction with the battery and voltage regulator, works as the electrical controller of your car, truck, or vehicle. The alternator transfers mechanical energy into electrical energy to power your vehicle’s accessories.

Consequences of Alternator Failure

Alternators cost a lot of money. The average price for alternator repair is around $400, and a new alternator can cost $1,000 or more.

Your alternator might be fine even if it tests poorly, though. The problem might just be a loose belt not allowing the engine to turn your car’s rotor shaft. Or your lightbulbs might be burned out. Your radio wires may have come disconnected. You may simply have a burnt out fuse.

Test my Alternator