A bad battery is often the cause of alternator failure. The alternator sends 5 amp-hours to the battery at about 3000 RPM, and the rest of its power goes to the rest of the car’s systems. A car battery’s primary purpose is to start the engine.

What keeps killing my alternator?

Alternators put out alternating current, and the battery needs direct current to charge, so there is a voltage rectifier that converts it, and it can suddenly go bad, too. Dust and dirt can get into the alternator, and over time cause shorts or wear on the brushes.

Can you just start a car with a bad alternator?

While jumpstarting a vehicle with a bad alternator may technically be possible, do not leave jumper cables connected between vehicles longer than necessary as it can result in damage to sensitive electronics.

What is the average life of an alternator?

“Its primary job is to keep the electrical system up and running in place of the battery. The battery's job is to start the car, and the alternator keeps it running.” Gunning says an alternator typically lasts about seven years — or about 100,000 to 150,000 miles, says Waits.

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