The battery that resides under the hood may be one of the biggest that you are familiar with, but in all actuality this battery is not designed to be an infinite energy source. The one thing that makes the battery powerful is the alternator that is continuously converting power from the motor to energy needed. The battery and alternator work hand-in-hand and neither would be much good without the other. Unfortunately, the conjoined effort of these two components often leads to misconceptions about alternator issues. Here are a few of the most common myths and the actual facts you should know.
Misconception: If you are seeing issues with a discharged battery, it is likely the alternator.
Fact: The familiar click of a dead battery when you turn the key may have you automatically pointing a finger at the alternator. However, it is actually more likely that your battery is the problem. It is always a better idea to have your battery tested before heading to the auto parts store for a new alternator. You may be surprised to find the battery is the problem after all.
Misconception: The alternator provides most of power even when the car is at an idle.
Fact: The alternator does supply continuous power when the motor is running period, but the amount of power supplied at an idle is minimal. This auto part will actually provide its biggest surge of power when the vehicle is running at higher speeds. Therefore, leaving the car idling for extended periods of time can be harder on the battery than the alternator.
Misconception: If you have a bad alternator, it is better if you replace the battery too.
Fact: Even though the alternator and battery work together, ones demise will not always mean the other component will be bad as well. If you have found that your alternator is indeed bad, chances are you can just replace it without buying a new battery and be fine. On the other hand, if you have been having issues with the battery, it can be taxing on the alternator, which may lead to the need for replacement much sooner than normal.
When you understand a little more of the facts about an alternator and how it interacts with the battery in your car, it is easy to see that this is a major workhorse in your vehicle, but not always to blame when something goes wrong. Understanding is the key to properly diagnosing issues early to keep your vehicle functioning longer. To learn more about auto parts, visit Rocky Automotive Distributors Ltd.