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What Does an Alternator Do?

The alternator delivers power to your Honda vehicle’s electrical system while the car is running — but what does an alternator do beyond that? As it turns out, a lot. Many drivers assume the battery alone powers a car. However, the battery is only responsible for starting the car. It’s actually the alternator that draws energy from the gas engine and uses it to generate power and keep your car running. A failing alternator can cause problems throughout your car’s ignition and electrical systems. In the guide below, find out when your alternator needs attention at a Honda service center near Cody!

Common Alternator Issues

Like any other part in your Honda vehicle, the alternator needs maintenance to keep it performing at its best. Just how much is an alternator responsible for? Like the battery, the alternator is part of the charging system, so every electrical system in your car receives power from the alternator. Get your car checked out at a Billings service center if you notice these telltale signs of a struggling alternator:

  • Car won’t start
  • Devices not charging
  • Burning rubber smell under the hood
  • Whining or screeching sound after the vehicle starts
  • Headlights or interior lights appear dim
  • Battery warning dashboard light is on


How to Tell if Your Alternator or Battery is Failing

Exactly how much is an alternator responsible for in your car’s electrical system? It can be hard to tell the difference between a failing alternator and a failing battery in your Honda model. Follow these steps to find out if a problem is with the battery or the alternator:

  1. Wait until your car will not start without a jump.
  2. Jump-start the engine. Remember to remove the jumper cables.
  3. If your vehicle dies immediately after the jump, it’s most likely the alternator. Schedule service at Underriner Honda so an expert mechanic can help you replace your alternator.

How Long Does an Alternator Last?

You can expect most alternators to last about seven years, or between 100,000 to 150,000 miles. Keep in mind that certain factors may cause your alternator to wear out more quickly:

  • Harsh driving conditions
  • Power drain on the alternator
  • Alternator quality (year/make of your vehicle)

How Much Is an Alternator If I Need a Replacement?

Different models require different alternators — so how much is an alternator for your Honda CR-V or Civic Sedan? Your owner’s manual should tell you which alternator you need to purchase. Contact Underriner Honda for a free quote, or order replacement parts online. We’re also happy to help you out one-on-one if you stop by our air service center near Laurel!

Rely on Underriner Honda for Alternator Service and More

What does an alternator do versus the battery? That’s a question our technicians hear a lot from Honda drivers. If you can’t tell whether you have a bad battery or a bad alternator, just give us a call. Red Lodge rivers can also find more helpful service features like how to fix a dent or scratch and how to change a tire, as well as save on their next visit with our many service specials!

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