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Battery Vs Alternator: All You Need To Know

When your car doesn’t start all of a sudden, people tend to wonder the reason. Is it because of the battery or the alternator? The truth is – sometimes when the engine cranks sluggishly or doesn’t crank at all – then most of the time it’s because of the battery. But, that doesn’t mean that you should rule out any alternator failure or malfunction as well.

To help you resolve the confusion, we are going to discuss some important information that you need to remember when your vehicle doesn’t start – so that you can decide whether it’s the fault of the battery or the alternator.

What’s The Difference Between The Alternator And The Battery?

Before we get into any more in-depth details about both of these parts, it’s essential to know what they are and their functions. The alternator is defined as an engine-driven device that helps in converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. So, when the vehicle engine is running, the alternator helps in charging the battery while also simultaneously powering your vehicle’s electrical system. 

On the flip side, the battery of your vehicle helps in supplying electrical energy to your car engine when the vehicle has been turned OFF. The battery also provides the much-needed energy to energise the vehicle starter, which then helps to crank the engine – ultimately making the vehicle to move. Once everything is in a moving position, the alternator takes over the reins and assists in offering power to the onboard electronics of the car.

Therefore, it’s vital that you learn the difference between a bad battery and a bad alternator – which will help you diagnose any car start-up problem quickly. You must remember that car batteries generally last for around three to seven years – unless they are used very roughly. On the contrary, an alternator can last the entire lifetime of your car – but, naturally, that doesn’t happen most of the time. So if you are looking for Toyota car parts these tips will come in handy. 

The Signs Of A Bad Alternator

The following are some of the significant signs of a bad alternator that you need to keep in perspective:

  • Overly bright or even dimly-lit lights.
  • Alternator noise.
  • Discharged battery.
  • The vehicle abruptly stalls.
  • Electrical issues.
  • Warning light illuminated for the charging system of the vehicle. 

The Signs Of A Bad Battery

Since we have already shared the signs of a bad alternator, it’s time we share the symptoms of a bad battery:

  • The engine starts very slowly or sluggishly.
  • The engine doesn’t crack at all or cranks slowly.
  • Lights are dimly lit.
  • The engine doesn’t stay ON for too long. 

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