Reader Question: Hi,
Could you send me a picture of what a common alternator looks like as mine is not charging the battery and I want to have a go a fixing it. The alternator just stopped working one day and the battery went dead so I bought a new one and that one went dead 2 days after that.
Any help would be appreciated.
I would spend $30 on an electric test before I just started replacing parts. Especially, if you are not real sure what the parts look like or how they operate. I would visit a local alternator and starter repair shop and have them do a complete electrical test on the vehicle, which should include the following:
1. Load test the battery (can the battery hold a charge)
2. Check the alternator output (is it re-charging the battery)
3. Check for a voltage drain (is there something draining power from the battery like a hood or interior dome light that is ON when the engine is OFF)
4. Check the battery cables and grounds (is there a good connection between the battery and the alternator)
Most alternator shops will discount this test if you let them do the work, and they will probably be the cheapest avenue for you as far as repairs go.
Here is a picture of an alternator – which is attached to one of the drive belts