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.
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.
- Fewer moving parts means less friction, motion and resistance resulting in longer life
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