Out of the various reasons why a car alternator can be damaged, jumpstarting a car has been proven to be one of the reasons the alternator of a car is damaged, be it the car that is jumped or the one that provides the jumping.
Alternators are vital parts of a car and need to be treated with the utmost care, even if it is sold for a dollar; it is still worth paying attention to.
The alternator converts chemical to electrical energy. In simple terms, alternators provide the required electrical power needed for the car to function effectively. Therefore, can jumpstarting a car damage the alternator?
Jumpstarting a car can cause a car alternator to get damaged if the battery jumper cables are wrongly connected. If jumpstarting is done wrong by connecting the leads the wrong way, there is no doubt; that you will get the alternator damaged.
What Is The Purpose Of Alternators To Cars?
Everything electrical in a car seems like the battery is the only one getting things done, but no, the alternator is the balance the car needs to stay alive.
The majority, if not all the electrical components of a car are sponsored with the needed energy by the alternator, components like the car’s headlight, the car’s radio, and others, the battery can start the car but the alternator keeps the electrical functions active while the car is ignited, by charging the battery.
Alternators don’t just spoil, it is more effective for as long as the car last. Its life span is longer than you can imagine, even with that it still doesn’t make it unbendable or error-free.
Air, general wear and tear, and even an overload of water can affect the alternator and cause it to be damaged early enough.
Can Jumpstarting A Car Damage The Alternator?
An alternator is a sensitive part of a car, and any wrong move can fry it up. If jumpstarting is done wrong by connecting the leads the wrong way, there is no doubt; that you will get the alternator damaged.
This isn’t common because few people will make a reverse when connecting the leads, but sometimes, people do and it always leads to a damaged alternator.
Aside from a wrong move, when jumpstarting a car, it is also important to use a car with a “good” battery so it doesn’t cause more harm than good. If these little precautions are in place, you are free from damaging your car’s alternator.
Ensure when you want to connect, let the RED Jump Lead connects with the RED and the BLACK Jump Lead connect with BLACK and not the other way round. Jumpstarting a car should be done with extreme caution.
What Other Things can Damage Your Alternator?
There are many other things that can cause a car alternator to show signs of damage aside from interchanging jumper cables. A few of them are:
1. A Dead or Dying Battery
The alternator provides the needed electrical energy to keep a car running, but as we get burnout from work, so can your alternator be “Overworked”.
If the car battery is less charged or overcharged, it causes the alternator to provide more power than usual. When the alternator works continuously without taking a break or it gives a maximum output for a long time because of a break-in voltage caused by the battery, the alternator gets damaged.
Another way your alternator fails is when a dead battery or a nearly dead battery is charged with an alternator, which can cause a sudden failure of the alternator.
Alternators produce heat because of that, even when they function at the peak of their strength, they can only sustain for a short period. Overworking your alternator will damage it.
2. Bad Wiring in Alternator
Even an alternator can cause its own problem. In your alternator, there are two wires winding differently in which one wire winds around the rotor, which causes the magnetic field to produce electrical energy needed for the other winding, essentially for the effectiveness of the car.
These connections are sensitive and if there’s a brake or a loose, the alternator will function abnormally or possibly get damaged.
3. High Heat
The alternator is another part of a car that produces enough heat to make you sweat. The more it works, the more heat is produced. Too much heat will cause the alternator to break off its effectiveness.
When an alternator works too much and produces excessive heat, it causes unwanted burdens on the car engine and the drive belt, which can cause the engine to break off or the belt to warn out. When these things are out of order, even the alternator cannot last.
Signs of a Bad Alternator
There are various signs of a failing alternator. Having a clue about it will help you decide on a replacement when you notice these signs:
When the Alternator Light is Turned On
When you notice the dash light of your vehicle shines at you, be sure the alternator is close to death, or it is dying.
The indicator light is connected to the computer system of the vehicle to ensure you can monitor the alternator’s voltage.
In case you don’t know, a good alternator should have a voltage between 13V and 14.5V; ensure to monitor it.
When you notice various heightened or dimming lights from any components of your car, laser your focus to the alternator, or possibly if your headlight produces less stable light or you realize your speedometer, radio or dashboard stops working suddenly, it means your alternator is damaged or needs a replacement.
What Are the Best Ways to Preserve Your Alternator?
- Ensure you Jump-start Cars in the Right Way: Jump-starting a car isn’t a dangerous move unless you do it the wrong way. Maybe your car is to be jumped or you want to help jump another, to preserve your alternator will require jumpstarting the car the right way.
- Ensure Your Alternator is Clean: Dirt and dust are good enough to prevent air from getting into the alternator. Managing your alternator will require doing a routine check to clean and dust off dirt in other to prevent it from getting alternator damaged.
- Ensure You Check Your Drive Belt: Drive belts are important but they can be worn out anytime any day. Ensure you check your car frequently to ensure you know when to replace the belt if it is worn beyond normal.
An Alternator keeps the electrical components of your car active; a damaged one isn’t good for the car because it can cause you to spend more on repairs and different component replacements. When aiming to jumpstart your car, ensure it is done the right way without interchanging the jumper cables.