Every car charging system consists of at least a battery and an alternator. The alternator generates the electricity needed for the electrical components in the car to run. This is by charging the battery. When it comes to the alternators, they have a reputation of being strong and rugged. But they still break you may wonder. Well, yes they do, and if you are interested to know the reasons then you are reading the perfect article.
The primary reasons for alternator breakdowns are excessive heat, overwork, and overload. This is why you should be very careful when jump starting a car. Simply, you may accidentally cross the jumper cables, which is not tolerable by the alternator. Furthermore, if the battery cables are disconnected while the engine is running, the alternator won’t like it either, and may collapse.
Before deciding to dislocate the alternator, and taking it to a service shop to test it, you may consider buying a voltmeter for fewer than five dollars, drive the car for a day or two while constantly monitoring the voltage reading. So long the meter reads above 12 volts then the alternator is doing what it is supposed to do. Now it may drop during idle, buts that normal, just make sure that it is reading well above 12 when driving.
On a concluding point, alternators can also partially fail, where the converter of AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current) fails. Now the reason I said partially is because each alternator has more than one converter or diode, and in case one fails the rest would still work, however the overall result may not be sufficient to keep the voltage efficient at idle and low speeds. For more information about selling your car, check out the Why Do Alternators Fail