What Impacts the Lifespan of Your Alternator (and What to Do About It)

Transit bus alternatorsNo matter what industry you’re in – commercial trucking & refrigeration, mining industry or even transit bus transportation – one thing is consistent:

Your vehicles work hard; usually for extended periods of time and under less than ideal weather or road conditions.

Compounding the stress your alternator experiences is that it’s exposed to the elements.

Besides everyday usage, there are other factors which can shorten the lifespan of your alternator.

Heat

The problem:

Alternators (as the source of maintaining the charge for your battery) are a component of your electrical system.

And like most electrical devices (such as, say, a laptop computer) heat is problematic. Here’s why:

  • Increased electrical resistance caused by heat means the alternator must work harder to produce the same workload
  • Additional strain is placed on vital electrical components, mechanical and/or moving parts and lubrication

As a stand-alone device, an alternator produces a tremendous amount of heat. Then, you’ll need to add the surrounding engine heat it’ll absorb.

During warm-up, your alternator will lose approximately 10% of its operating efficiency.

Think about it: By the time an alternator is ready to go; it can only function at 90%.

Lastly, the harder an alternator works, the more strain it places on other engine parts too; namely drive belts and bearings.

A solution:

Delco introduced a brushless style alternator (available at Elreg Distributors Ltd.) which can produce lower amounts of heat with:

  • Fewer moving parts means less friction, motion and resistance resulting in longer life
  • Brushless mea