In this age of computerized vehicles, it is still important to understand the basics of how your luxury car operates. This includes recognizing the differences of the starter vs alternator. Of course, if sensor lights are lit now, make sure you visit our experts at Earnhardt Lexus for a service appointment right away.
Most people think of the battery as providing the power for their car to operate when in fact it is the alternator. The alternator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy allowing the car to charge the battery while you are driving. The starter works in a different way converting electrical energy of the auto into mechanical energy.
Both the alternator and starter can wear out over time needing repair or replacement. Keep an eye on symptoms as well as sensors.If you are having trouble with common electrical system problems, you can count on our well-trained mechanics. Pricing is right when you Dare to Compare.
The alternator is located in the front left of the engine and begins working when the engine is started. Your car’s alternator is electronic and its primary function is charging the car battery while you drive. If the battery is dead, however, it cannot be charged by the alternator. The alternator regulates the electricity used to operate your vehicle by different components of your car allowing them to function.
Alternators typically have a long working life and sometimes do not show signs of damage. The key indicator is the sensor which lights when the battery is not able to charge. When the alternator stops working the battery cannot be charged leading to alternator repair.
Signs of Possible need for Alternator Repair
ALT light turns on
Headlights and dashboard lights dim
Smell like burning rubber indicating a belt issue
Grinding noise coming from the engine
Starting issue with the engine
The starter is located on the left side of the motor near the bottom. It is an electric motor which rotates and starts the engine. The system is made up of the motor attached to a solenoid which is an electronic device that takes the battery power and delivers it to the starter motor. It also pushes the starter gear allowing it to mesh with the gear teeth of the engine’s flywheel.
When starting your car, a high current is used requiring a charged battery in order for the starter system to operate. If your car won’t start but the battery is charged, the starter is typically the culprit.
Signs of Possible Need for Starter Repair
Clicking noise when engine should be starting
Dashboard lights come on but the engine will not start
Engine will not work after a jumpstart
If you have any concerns regarding your starter or alternator, allow our experts at Earnhardt Lexus service department to answer your questions. We are here to help and ready to address any issues you may have regarding your luxury vehicle. Our drop-off and loaner services are available to assist you.