What is an alternator repair?

When you take your car in for an alternator repair service, the mechanic will assess the battery, battery cables, and alternator to confirm that a replacement is needed. The alternator is a vital component in keeping your car battery charged.
The car battery loses power when the electrical components in your car are in use. The alternator converts the mechanical energy generated by the alternator belt into electrical energy to recharge the battery.
A malfunctioning alternator will not be able to convert a sufficient amount of electrical energy to be stored in the battery. As a result, the battery will run out of power and you won’t be able to start your car.

How to repair an alternator

A mechanic will follow these general steps to repair an alternator:
  • Inspect the entire charging system—battery, cables, and alternator
  • Inspect drive belts
  • Test alternator output
  • Remove and replace the alternator if it is malfunctioning
  • Re-test alternator output to ensure it is working

When do I need to repair my alternator?

If your car battery is dead or will not hold a charge, it’s time to replace the alternator.
Other common signs include:
  • Battery warning light is on
  • Dim headlights
Ask your mechanic to inspect the condition of the charging system every time you take your car in for a major service. You should also make sure the mechanic cleans and tightens the battery cables so that there’s a good connection.
Although you can still drive the car until the battery drains, you could be left stranded if your car doesn’t start in a parking lot.

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