Alternators are critical parts of the charging systems in today's vehicles -- ones without which no car, truck, SUV, or van would run at all. What they do is transform mechanical energy into electrical energy -- in other words, the movement of parts into electricity. In doing so, they charge vehicles' batteries, power their dash lights and instrumentation, windows, and electronics, and run the steering system, windshield wipers, and other electrical systems.
One works as part of a process that begins with the engine. It moves serpentine belts and drive belts, which turn a pulley. The pulley spins a rotor shaft, which rotates a set of magnetic coils. This movement generates a magnetic field; its energy, a rectifier on the alternator captures, transforming it from AC power into DC power. A voltage regulator manages said current.
Unfortunately, no alternator lasts forever. Sometimes, they fail, owing to either parts that have broken down from a lifetime of use, belts that have become too tight, the wrong accessories being installed, or a jump-start that's been done wrong. To make matters worse, you may not get any warning before that failure. What signs do present, though, are as follows.
- Battery and alternator warnings show up on the dash
- Lighting starts malfunctioning
- Electronics begin behaving erratically
- The engine starts to squeak
- Your battery dies
- You start to smell burn around the battery or alternator
- Alternator fluid begins leaking
See any, and you should inspect your alternator immediately, following up with a test of the charging system. Replace any parts that the results deem problematic, if not the alternator itself. Otherwise, you change one every 80,000 to 150,000 miles. That's about every 7 years. Review the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual for more info.
Before ordering a new alternator, though, be sure it's the genuine OEM article. Mopar will have manufactured it to fit your brand and model specifically, right from the get-go. That compatibility assurance, the aftermarket can't always give you.
Where to Order a Replacement Mopar Alternator Online
Our auto parts store has a huge catalog you can browse by make, model, and model year -- finding what fits is that easy. Buy now and we'll ship directly to your door, ASAP.
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