Alternators need extra care as winter approaches

Jan. 1, 2020
The alternator, which powers the vehicle?s entire electrical system, not only provides current to operate all of the car?s electrical accessories and the engine ? it keeps the vehicle?s battery charged, and its importance is amplified as the weather
The alternator, which powers the vehicle’s entire electrical system, not only provides current to operate all of the car’s electrical accessories and the engine – it keeps the vehicle’s battery charged, and its importance is amplified as the weather turns colder and the vehicle uses more power-robbing accessories.

“Today, with fancy headlights, quick-acting rear window defrosters, stereo system with multiple speakers, in-car television or DVD player, global navigation system and high output heating and air conditioning, the alternator and the battery are often hard pressed to keep everything functioning. Demands can often far exceed the alternator’s capacity, leading to less than stellar performance from accessories – and ultimately to a dead battery,” said Fred Padgett, Group Product Manager, Starting and Charging Products for Bosch.

So if your customer notices the headlights dim when they use the heater and wipers – and really dim if they add the radio – this is often a warning sign that the alternator may not be working up to capacity, or may not have the capacity needed to power the vehicle’s electrical needs.

A technician can check the vehicle’s electrical system for problems, make sure the battery is okay, and check the alternator output to make sure it is operating properly. If the alternator is the culprit, replace it or upgrade it – if necessary. Older cars did well with 50-60 amps, modern vehicles today often need 90 to 130 amps, or more.

Bosch offers both new and remanufactured alternators that carry the exclusive free two-year emergency roadside assistance warranty if the alternator fails.

“Bosch is a supplier to most vehicle manufacturers and this has proved to be a tremendous advantage for its new and remanufactured aftermarket alternators. Bosch is familiar with the alternator’s basic technology and subjects replacement alternator to 100 percent end of the line testing, for proper turn on speed, voltage regulator functions, and full load test for amperage output at all RPM ranges – to ensure performance and durability,” Padgett noted.

For more information on Bosch automotive products visit www.boschautoparts.com.

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