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Used alternator from car breakers

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Fiat

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Ford

Available parts: 4.086

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Honda

Available parts: 613

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Hyundai

Available parts: 1.978

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Kia

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Mazda

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Mitsubishi

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Nissan

Available parts: 2.533

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Opel

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Available parts: 3.330

Alternator: what it does and how to troubleshoot it

What is an alternator?

The alternator is a device that generates electricity to power the engine, lights, and any other electrical accessories. The alternator is belt-driven and consists of a series of coils that rotate inside a magnet. As the coils rotate, they generate an electrical current that powers the car and charges the battery. The battery provides power to the starter motor which starts the engine. Once the engine is running, the alternator takes over and provides power to the electrical system and charges the battery. If the alternator fails, the battery will eventually go dead and the car will stop.

An alternator is a vehicle’s generator used to convert mechanical energy to electrical energy and distribute it to the rest of the car. Together with the battery and voltage regulator, the alternator is a critical component of a vehicles’ charging system. All cars with an internal combustion engine have an alternator, except modern hybrid cars. It is located in front of the engine, near the serpentine belt.

What does an alternator do?

Primarily, the alternator is supposed to supply electricity to your car and recharge the battery by converting mechanical energy to electrical energy. In older model vehicles, the alternator is connected to the crankshaft using a pulley. However, the alternator is driven by the engine’s crankshaft via a serpentine belt in modern cars.

Typically, an alternator is made of a stator (stationary outside winding) and a rotator ( rotating inner winding) surrounded by magnets. Power is supplied through the voltage regulator to the rotator, which starts moving. As a result, the magnets around it create an electromagnetic field that induces alternating electric current to the stator. However, the vehicle electrical system utilizes a direct electrical current.

Therefore, the diode rectifier converts the alternating current into direct current, which is supplied to the vehicle electrical system. The generated electricity is also passed through the in-built voltage regulator, which controls the amount of power distributed to the automotive and battery recharging.

Can you replace it yourself?

Replacing an alternator is quite an easy task that anyone can do if you follow the right procedure. Therefore, rather than spending a lot of cash in a repair shop, you can opt to do it yourself. Highlighted below is a procedure on how to replace your alternator efficiently;
 Disconnect the battery. There is a connection between a battery and the alternator. Therefore, failure to disconnect the battery puts you at risk of electrocution.
 Disconnect the wires. Ensure when disconnecting the alternator wires, you label them appropriately to avoid any confusion when reconnecting.
 Remove the serpentine belt. To remove the belt, you will need first to loosen the springs of the tensioner pulley.
 Remove the harness wiring and connectors
 Remove the bolts on the damaged alternator
 Install the new alternator by adequately fitting in the bolt holes
 Fit back the serpentine belt and ensure the tensioner pulley is tightened
 Reconnect the battery terminals.

Things to know and remember when replacing the alternator

Replacing an alternator as a DIY project is a simple task; however, a simple mistake can turn out to be extremely costly. Therefore for a seamless alternator replacement, you need to be keen and pay attention to each subsequent step.

Firstly, you need to account for all the cables. The alternator is linked to many cables and plugs hence making it easy to overlook some. Therefore, you need to mark the wires that go to the rear and the front of the alternator. Also, it is fundamental to conduct a secondary visual inspection after replacing the unit to ensure everything is in the right place.

Secondly, it is necessary to verify the belt tension after successful replacement. Chances are, the belt will not have the same tension it had before opening the unit. Therefore, you need to loop the belt around the pulley upon completion tightly.

Lastly, be sure to disconnect the battery terminals. With the distance between the alternator and the battery, forgetting to remove its terminals is easy. This exposes you to shocks when you accidentally ground a live wire.

Different types/ generation/ models of the part

Automobile alternators are categorized based on their design. Regarding the design basis, they are broadly categorized into salient pole type and smooth cylindrical type. The salient pole type has projecting poles fitted on the magnetic poles. On the other hand, the smooth cylindrical type has its rotor made with solid forged cylinders with slots milled for fitting magnetic coils.

Different subparts of the alternator

The alternators are fitted with subparts to ensure their optimal functioning. Below are some of the standard components of the alternator and their corresponding functions;
 Stator. A stator is an iron ring filled with magnetic coils that create an electric current when the magnetic field is induced. It also doubles up as the body of the alternator.
 Rotator. True to its name, it spins inside the alternator and rotates the pulley, which drives the pulley system to create a magnetic field.
 Diode rectifier. It is used to convert the alternating current to a direct current that is used for charging.
 Voltage regulator. It controls the amount of power supply from the alternator to the battery.
 Pulley. It connects the driveshaft and the drive belt system that causes the rotation.
 Slip ring. It is an electrochemical device that rotates a coil to provide power to the rotar.
 Slip ring bearing. Are bearing that is used to support the rotation of the rotor shaft.
 Drive end bearing. These are bearing that complement the functioning of the slip ring bearing.

Identify issues or symptoms of failure problems

Just like other car components, the alternator is not immune to damage/failure. The good thing is you can quickly notice signs of failure and immediately fix them. The first sign to notice is the flickering of the warning light on the car’s instrument panel. The indication on the instrument panel is a battery or ALT or GEN, which represents alternator and generator, respectively.

The other signs of car alternator problems include;
 Dead battery
 Trouble starting engine or frequent stalling
 Dim or overly bright lights
 Slow electronic accessories
 Strange noises
 The smell of burning rubber.

Frequently occurring issues with the alternator

In most cases, age or overuse of the alternator is what causes its failure. However, this is not the case all the time since they might fail prematurely. Premature malfunctioning of the alternator is mainly triggered by other underlying factors such as worn out bearing, misaligned pulleys, failure of its internal components, and engine oil leak to the alternator.

Normal lifetime

Either vehicle mileage or its age determines the lifespan of an alternator. In regards to mileage, it can optimally operate up to 80,000 to 150,000 miles. Alternatively, its lifetime can be projected at 7 to 10 years.

Other parts to fix when replacing the alternator

Damage to an alternator can have a ripple effect on other car parts. Therefore, it is essential to also fix other car parts such as the serpentine belt, idler roller, tensioner, and the alternator. The perfect place to get this component is at autoparts-24.com.

How to make sure you purchase the right part for your exact car

The right alternator choice is dependent on your vehicle model, make and year of manufacture. Therefore, when searching for the right one, all you have to do is look for the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) number. Also, it is advisable to buy a used OEM alternator to reduce the replacement costs. It would be best if you did not worry about where to find one; they are all available at autoparts-24.com.

Conclusion

At times it is inevitable to avoid damage to the alternator. In case this happens, it is ideal to purchase a used OEM alternator. You can get this from autoparts-24.com.

Spare parts for sale of type by car brands

Our more than 120 car chippers now have more than 30480 pieces of the type for sale on Autoparts24 and here you can see how the used car parts are distributed for each car brand. E.g. you can see that there are 7155 pcs. for sale right now of the VW brand, which is equivalent to 23 % of all used spare parts in the category.

Sold spare parts of the type by car makes

Based on our insight into more than 120 car chippers warehouses, we can see how the sales of spare parts of the type of rearview mirror are distributed among the car brands. E.g. you see that 0 pieces have been sold of the 9163 , which corresponds to 0 % of all used spare parts sold in the category 19

Prices on spare parts of the type

Here you can see how our car chipper sets the price of a spare part with the OEM number . So you have the opportunity to get an impression of the price of a spare part with OEM number , and thus become wiser about which car parts are cheap and expensive respectively. The average price of a spare part with OEM for sale on Autoparts24 is 954 EUR.

Prices of sold spare parts of the type

Here you can see the price of the spare parts of the type that our car breakers sell. I.e. you can estimate whether most parts are being sold at the cheap end or the expensive end of the scale. Compared to the graph above, showing the offer price of the spare parts, you can evaluate the relationship between supply and demand for the auto spare parts of the type sbr />
The average price of a spare part of the type from one of our car chippers on Autoparts24 is 627 EUR

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