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Can a Bad Alternator Ruin a Battery: Effect and Replacement

Can a Bad Alternator Ruin a Battery: Effect and Replacement

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A car’s engine is made up of many parts, and an alternator is one of the items that are tucked inside the engine. Just like other parts, alternators play a pivotal role that allows the car to work properly. There are, however, some concerns regarding alternators and their effect on batteries. Don’t worry, because we are here to talk about alternators, whether bad alternators ruin a battery or not. Does it actually ruin batteries? Let’s check it out!

Can a bad alternator ruin a new battery?

Before we talk about bad alternators and batteries, let’s get to know alternators first. What are they, and what are their roles in cars?

What is a car alternator?

A car alternator is the part of the car’s engine that takes care of the car’s electrical needs. The alternator of a car supplies the vehicle with electricity, allowing the car to run properly. The alternator supplies the electricity by converting the AC to DC. Yes, the process might need a conversion, but its benefits make alternators a better preference compared to the usual generators for cars.

Parts of a Car Alternator

An alternator has five primary parts. They are:

Rotor and Stator

Rotor and stator are always in a set because they are the ones who produce electricity in alternators. The rotor is the one that spins inside the stator. Due to the copper wiring in the stator and the magnets around the rotor, electricity becomes possible in the alternator.
Diode Rectifier

The rectifier is the item that converts voltage in such a way so that it can be used to recharge the battery. 

Voltage Regulator

As its name stated, the voltage regulator is the part of the machine that oversees the battery of the alternator. When the alternator is in need of power, the voltage regulator will deliver it.

Cooling Fan

Although there are vents that can release the heat of the machine, they are not enough to maintain the temperature of the alternator. This is the main job of the cooling fans. Thanks to the cooling fan, we don’t need to worry about alternators overheating (as overheating can damage the alternator).

Benefits of a Car Alternator

Some people prefer an alternator to a generator not without reason. Here are some benefits of a car alternator:

More output

The components of an alternator are more durable than those in a DC generator. This allows them to spin at a faster rate without risking harm. An alternator with a faster rotation speed can generate more power overall. It also implies that an alternator can produce more power at lower rates, allowing you to charge your car even while it is idle.

Physically More Efficient

An alternator is more efficient, as it is smaller in size compared to generators. Due to their size, alternators are more compatible with cars compared to DC generators, as they can fit into engines more easily.  Its lighter weight also makes it possible for us to save more when it comes to fuel. 

Less Maintenance

Compared to DC generators, alternators’ rings won’t wear off quickly due to the solid ring they used. Since the rings do not wear off easily, we don’t have to maintain it as often as DC generators.

Bad Alternator on a New Battery

Although the car’s battery might be new, it will not stop the bad alternator from damaging the battery. Hence, it is better to take care of the problem as soon as possible if the alternator is damaged.

Can a bad alternator ruin a car battery?

It does not matter what kind of car battery you have. Even if it’s new, it will still be damaged because of the bad alternator. 

There are several reasons why alternators go bad. Some of them are:

●Overtight alternator belt. Hence, checking the alternator during service is a must. 

●Dirt, dust, and other things that can prevent the alternator from performing at its max.

When such situation above rises, we have no choice but to bring it to the service center.

Unless you are a car expert, it will be hard to detect bad alternators. However, there are some signs from the car hinting of a bad alternator. Some of the signs are:

●It's most likely the alternator if your car starts effortlessly yet the warning light turns on right away.

●Non-essential equipment, such as air conditioning, ABS, and even airbags, will be turned off automatically in modern automobiles. This is to guarantee that the engine receives as much power as feasible. If this happens and the warning light comes on, the alternator is most likely to blame.

●If your alternator isn't operating, your headlights may be dim when driving at night.

●Anything unusual, such as your dashboard lights flashing or your speedometer and tachometers failing to operate.

If you’re experiencing the issues mentioned above, go to the service center as soon as possible and have your alternator checked. 

If you have to use the car first, here are some times to drive the car while having a bad alternator:

●When starting the car, use a starter amplifier or other car batteries. 

●When you are driving, do not use lights, radios, fans, power windows, anything that runs on electricity. 

●Use a slow charger to fully charge the car battery as much as possible. 

●The faster you go, the further you can go in a given time. But don’t cross the speed limit! 

●Replace all bulbs with LEDs to reduce power consumption.

Do you have to replace battery when replacing alternator?

It is not required to replace the battery when the alternator is replaced. However, it is pretty common for an old battery to fail when the alternator fails. This occurs because the battery deteriorates faster when it is totally depleted. Your mechanic can re-test the battery once it has been fully recharged if your alternator has been changed and the battery has been depleted. A decent battery may be recharged in 20-40 minutes by running the motor or driving.

 

 

 

 

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