There are many signs that suggest your vehicle’s alternator is on its last leg. The most common signs involve electrical issues, such as dimmed or flickering lights, failing power seats and windows, and stereo defects. Other signs may include engine and battery problems, smell of burning plastic, or strange noises coming from the hood. If you suspect that your car or truck needs a new alternator, your top concern may be your budget. Fortunately, you have some cost-effective options for replacing or repairing an alternator.
Continue reading to learn what the average cost of a new alternator can be, and how to find a fantastic deal on alternator replacement.
What is an Alternator?
You vehicle’s alternator is important because it turns mechanical energy into electrical energy, and recharges the battery. It is located in the engine, where it is powered by a timing chain or belt. As a vehicle is running, the alternator spins to produce electrical energy. This energy is applied to all the electrical systems, as well as, the overall operation of the vehicle.
Options for Defective Alternator
If your alternator is showing any of the above-mentioned signs, your first step is to have it inspected by a licensed automotive mechanic. They can tell you whether or not the alternator can be spared. If it can be repaired, it could be your best option depending on your personal preference and your vehicle’s age and condition.
If you need a new alternator, you are looking at paying between $200 and $600, and perhaps more, depending on a few factors. Factors that impact alternator replacement include the make and model vehicle, labor costs of mechanic, whether or not you buy a used or new part, and more. That’s right; you can save a lot of money by opting for a used and refurbished alternator, rather than a brand new one. Not only is this easier on the budget, it is great for the environment and local economy.
If you decide on a refurbished alternator, you will save hundreds of dollars compared to buying new. Just be sure to choose an OEM approved product from a trusted vendor or retailer. Some reconditioned automotive parts even come with a warranty. Alternators are relatively simple to repair and refurbish, so it should not be difficult tracking one down near you. The most important part of buying a refurbished auto part is to choose a reputable auto parts store to do business with.