What Does the Car's Alternator Do?

The majority of drivers assume the battery in their vehicle is responsible for supplying power to the stereo, instrument panel, and lights. However, this is why the alternator in the car is so vital for the electrical system to work flawlessly. The car battery instantly sends a jolt of power to the starter motor so the engine can crank over. Once the car engine is idling, then the alternator sends juice to things like the power windows, charging stations, and instrument cluster.

The car alternator operates like a typical generator, getting its power from a crank wheel that is spinning at high speed as the engine runs. Signs that the car alternator is beginning to fail range from the lights appearing very dim, to the instrument cluster gauges failing to work. At the very first signs of electrical system failure, have the system tested at our BMW service department in Atlanta, GA before you're left stranded without power.

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