What Does an Alternator Do?

Alternator with flat drive belt at modern truck engine

What does an alternator do? It keeps your electrical components running by recharging your battery as you drive. If any one of the three crucial parts of your car’s starting system don’t work — the starter, battery, or alternator — then your car won’t start correctly. You could also experience problems with any other electrical components throughout the vehicle, including power windows, power steering, headlights and other exterior lights, windshield wipers, defroster, and more.

To avoid getting stranded outside of Stamford, it’s a good idea to stay ahead of these issues and learn more about your alternator! What does an alternator do? This guide will give you a solid overview of what your alternator does, how to tell when it needs to be replaced, and how much you can expect that to cost.

How Much is an Alternator?

How much is an alternator? It depends. When replacing your alternator, you have three choices: a brand new alternator, or remanufactured alternator, or a rebuilt alternator.

  • Brand new alternator
      • Costs between $500 and $1000
      • Usually carries a limited lifetime warranty
  • Remanufactured alternator
      • Costs between $300 and $500
      • Undergoes a major teardown and inspection
      • All wear-and-tear components replaced with new ones
      • Same warranty as a new alternator from the same supplier
  • Rebuilt alternator
    • Cost to rebuild your alternator is between $100 and $200
    • Only parts that appear worn are replaced
    • If your alternator is older, replacement parts may no longer be available

When to Replace the Alternator

Most alternators last about seven years, or between 100,000 and 150,000 miles. However, other connected components, like the rotor and brushes, can break down over time and need replacing, too. 

Keep an eye out for the following signs that your alternator could need replacing:

  • Dim dash lights
  • Illuminated service engine warning light
  • Strange noise
  • Problems with electrical systems, such as automatic windows, power seats, etc.
  • Problems starting the car
  • Dead car battery

Stop by Land Rover Darien for OEM Parts and Expert Service

If you have any more questions about your alternator, our experienced mechanics are happy to help New Canaan drivers stay on top of vehicle maintenance. Reach out to schedule service, or visit our Parts Department to order genuine Land Rover replacement parts. Check out our blog for more tips on safe Greenwich driving!

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Land Rover Darien
Land Rover Darien
1335 Post Rd
Darien, CT, 06820 USA
(855) 552-1292
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Land Rover Darien 41.0706283, -73.4770915.