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A car alternator is a type of electric generator used in modern cars to charge the car battery and to power the electrical system when its engine is running.
An alternator gets its name from the term alternating current (AC), so now you know an alternator is very much needed in a car, now the next question would be can a car start without an alternator?
Yes, it can, surprisingly you don’t need an alternator to start the car, but how many times can you start a car without an alternator? Let’s find out;
You can start a car without an alternator as many times as you can or want to if you reckon that the number of times you can start your car engine fully depends on only the battery, and the weather.
Yes, the weather, the weather condition of the environment your car is currently at; When you launch your car in cold weather if the oil inside the vehicle is thick, the vehicle will use more energy to turn on the car engine.
So, if you’re trying to start a car without an alternator know it’s going to be not good for your vehicle, also, the battery operation is short in harsh weather, but as long as the battery is not dead you can always start your car without an alternator, but for how long should be the next question on your mind, and I’m here to answer this for you.
Table Of Contents
How long can a car run without an alternator?
Your car may run without an alternator for roughly two hours, and would even be able to travel up to 25 miles, but just because you can do not mean you should, do not forget that without your alternator, other very crucial and fundamental car functions inside your vehicle will hastily begin to collapse too.
When you ride without an alternator you’re at a high risk of facing a car accident on your journey. Is the mental thrill of doing something dangerous worth possibly losing your life for?
Now that you know how many times you can run a car without an alternator (Limitless), and also know how long a car can run without an alternator (2 Hours), let’s move on to other questions you might have on your mind, like;
Can an alternator just stop working?
Alternators can go bad suddenly, very suddenly, so yes your car alternator might just stop working without warning, but most time an alternator would just slowly, and over time seize to work, it might be the dust settling close to your battery, might just be the alternator getting weak due to time.
The alternator is a critical component in operating the electrical operations in your car. When your alternator begins to fail it can cause a variety of different electrical hardships in your car, and ultimately result in a breakdown.
- How To Charge A Car Battery While Still Connected?
- How Far Can I Drive With A Dead Alternator? Find Out
- How Long Does It Take To Charge Car Battery With Alternator?
Can I start a car with no alternator?
Well, as I stated before, yes you can but just because my words may not have been clear before, I would clarify; You only can if you’re jump-starting your car, you need to jump-start your car if you’re trying to start it with a missing alternator, and how do you jump-start your vehicle with an absent alternator in it?
You need to find someone with a full car battery because jump-starting sucks car battery energy very greatly, when you find someone with a full car battery, you can then use their car battery to jump-start,
then you proceed normally just like you were about to jump-start a vehicle with a present alternator, but some people would argue you could just skip the whole jump-starting process, if you already have a full car battery, they would say if you have a full car battery, then you don’t need to jump-start your car, just drive as normal. I can not vouch on what I’ve not personally tested out. Moving on:
What kills an alternator?
A lot of things could kill your car alternator but the quickest way to do so would be by, running the car in full charge mode continuously, this procedure can kill an alternator, trying to make your new alternator try to charge your dead battery can result in abrupt alternator failure. If you’re not trying to kill your alternator never use it to charge a dead battery, at least not regularly.
How much does it cost to fix the alternator?
Okay, so let’s say you’re reading this article a little bit too late, and your alternator is already dead, and now you need to fix the alternator, so when your car starts having electrical problems, it’s a sign you need an alternator replacement.
I’m sure you already know this, and now analyzing the cost of a new alternator as well as labor fee (workmanship fee), you should expect to expend anywhere between $500 and $1,000 to get a new one for your vehicle. A bit on the costly side, but a new alternator would serve you greatly.
Is my battery dead or my alternator?
One common issue, some car owners face when their car refuses to start, is they do not know how to differentiate and know if their battery is dead or if their alternator is faulty, I’m here to show you how to tell.
If the motor starts but dies shortly, your alternator possibly isn’t keeping your battery charged. If you jump-start the car, and it keeps your car running, but then the car can’t start again by its power, you are likely dealing with a dead battery.
How do I test to see if my alternator is bad?
An aglow dashboard light can denote trouble with an automobile charging system. Nevertheless, a very simple and easy way to check if the alternator is working is to run the car and detach the positive terminal of the battery. If the vehicle ceases to run, then you are most definitely dealing with a bad alternator.
What noise does a bad alternator make?
Do you know you can tell if an alternator is bad just by listening to the sound your car makes?
A common sound made by declining alternators is a very high-pitched whining noise, this sound is very unpleasant to the ears but you will hear it – if your alternator is bad when the engine is running, and also, when the vehicles’ RMPs increase, such as when you accelerate the car, you’ll hear the cacophony get higher in volume as the car pulley spins faster. It’s very easy to know if your alternator is going bad, just listen to the sound your vehicle makes.
Why would an alternator seize?
Alternators have moving parts, and these parts can get dirty, they also can be prone to weather-based stress like heat and cold. As a result, the internal parts found on the alternator are bound to gradually wear out. But, one of the most common alternator failures is bearing failure. (Read Also:How Long Will Boat Battery Last Without Alternator?)
When the bearings fail, the car brake rotor will not spin efficiently and can eventually seize.
Can a car run without an alternator/serpentine belt?
The quick answer to this question is yes, your car will start even if the serpentine belt (also known as alternator belt), is broken or missing.
How this works is, to get the vehicle going, the car battery transmits power to your starter motor… Still, you need your serpentine belt if you want the car to run for longer than a few minutes, without it, the car is definitely to turn off soon. (Read Also:Should Alternator Pulley Spin Freely?)
How long will a battery last without an alternator?
In a situation where your car alternator is unavailable, the car battery could last as little as 30 minutes. If you are lucky you could get up to two hours.
How long do alternators last?
Its primary job is to keep the electrical operation up and running in place of the battery, and the battery’s job is to start the car, the alternator keeps it running. Gunning once said an alternator can generally last about seven years — you could also drive about 100,000 to 150,000 miles per alternator.
What happens when the alternator dies?
When an alternator dies and is no longer supplying electrical power, the electrical system of the vehicle draws power from the battery. As the battery is no longer being recharged by the alternator, the battery loses its charge and the headlights grow dimmer as less power is provided by the battery.
Can a faulty alternator drain battery?
A corroded or defective alternator diode will faultily continue charging the circuit even when the car is off; This, will drain your car battery and cause the car not to start.
Who can replace the alternator?
If something is wrong with your alternator, starter, or battery, a mechanical technician will talk to you about the different options you have when it comes to replacing or just repairing a bad alternator or starter.
Can roadside assistance fix the alternator?
Yes, any roadside assistant can easily fix your alternator.(Read Also:Can You Clean An Alternator With Brake Cleaner?)
What happens if the alternator belt breaks while driving?
A broken serpentine belt will immediately lead to a loss of power assist for the steering system, in simpler terms, you would lose control of your steering, and this is a recipe for an accident, also a broken serpentine belt will halt the water pump from disseminating antifreeze through the cars’ cooling system. This ultimately means that if your serpentine belt crashes while driving, the engine can overheat anytime or anywhere, and you can lose control of your vehicle.
How much does it cost to replace an alternator belt?
Let’s say your alternator (serpentine) belt breaks or time takes effect on it, and now it’s next to useless, you’re going to have to replace it so your car would function properly and the replacement cost of an alternator belt is typically between $100 and $200. The part cost is between $25 and $80 while the labor cost is between $75 and $120. The true replacement cost will depend on how long it takes the mechanic to access your alternator belt.
Frequently Asked Questions (F&Q)
Does an alternator make AC or DC?
Car batteries operate on one-way direct current (DC) electricity, while alternators output alternating current (AC) electricity.
How do you check if your alternator is working?
A simple test to check the working of the alternator is by running your car and then unplugging the positive connection of the battery. If your car stops, then you have a problem with the alternator. Another simple test is to check your interior lights.
Why is it bad to start my car multiple times?
Starting your car multiple times shortens the life span of your engine, and uses up more gasoline.
How many times should I start my car a day?
Even though individually, it varies, this is a very necessary question you should implore yourself when you have to store your car away in storage, so if you intend to keep your car out of service for a while, you should start it at least once every week.
The easiest thing you can do to prevent your car battery from dying is to start your car once a week and let it run anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. You can even take it for a drive around the block, which should provide just enough power to recharge the battery, and keep it alive for another week or so.
How Many Times Can You Start A Car Without An Alternator – Conclusion
We started this article by explaining how many times can you start a car without an alternator, we found out the option is endless as long as we take in the weather condition, and eventually, we discussed so many things concerning car alternators, unfortunately, this is where this post for the day would have to end.