What Does an Alternator Do?

Many people think a car's battery powers all of its electric components, but all it really does is power the electric starter that gets the vehicle running. The part that provides electricity to everything else is the alternator. The alternator essentially works like a generator, and it was in fact called that at one time. As a vehicle's gas engine spins wheels under the hood, those wheels in turn crank a wheel on the alternator to generate the electricity necessary for operating your vehicle's electrical components.

Knowing if It's Your Alternator or Your Battery that Needs to be Replaced

Even though most of your vehicle's electrical components are powered by your alternator, it can be difficult to know if it's your alternator or your battery that is going bad. As a rule, you can count on something being wrong if your dashboard display lights or other components aren't working properly, but you can determine if you have a bad alternator by simply jump-starting your car and removing the jumper cables after it starts. If your car keeps running, your problem is the battery. If the engine dies almost immediately, your alternator needs to be replaced.

If you suspect that you have a bad alternator or a bad battery, contact our BMW service team for repair today.

Categories: Parts
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