How to Diagnose Your Ford Mustang Alternator
Before, you could start up a car's engine and it will continue to run even if you pull out its battery. But nowadays, your Ford Mustang needs its battery and an alternator to start its engine and keep running. The battery stores electrical energy that can help start up the engine. Meanwhile, the alternator generates the electricity that recharges the battery while your car is running. These interconnected relationships between your Ford Mustang alternator, battery, and engine can lead to some confusion when something goes wrong. So, you'll need to know which of these parts are actually causing the problem signs that you're experiencing in order to fix it. To help you gain a bit of clarity, here are some ways in which you can diagnose the symptoms of a bad alternator:
Differentiating between a bad battery and a bad alternator
A lot of car owners will know when something goes wrong with their vehicles, thanks to the tiny icons that light up on their dashboards. If you turn your key in the ignition, you'll either see the battery icon or the alternator icon turn on. It's your car's way of alerting you to an issue with these parts.
If your dashboard doesn't light up or if you want to determine the source of your Mustang's problems on your own, you can still do so manually. Just insert your key in the ignition and try to start your engine. If you hear a clicking sound as you turn the key, then your battery is going bad. However, if you don't hear the click and your engine doesn't start, then you should try turning on the headlights. If your headlights come on but your engine remains still, then you've got a problem with the alternator and not the battery.
Diagnosing a bad alternator
Successfully determining that you've got a problem with the alternator is only the first step in the diagnostic process. Next, you'll need to find out what's actually wrong with your alternator in order to fix it. You can do so by carefully inspecting its components for damage and taking note of which need replacement. With a cold engine, you can start by examining the alternator belt for any cracks or glazing. Then, you can listen for any problems with the alternator's rotor with a heater hose. Just put one end of the tubing near your ear and listen for any grinding noises that indicate that the rotor has failed. Finally, you can determine if you need to replace the entire alternator itself by testing your battery's connections with a voltmeter while the engine is idling. If you get a reading of 13 volts or less, then it's clear that your alternator has malfunctioned.
How to Maintain your Ford Mustang Alternator
Your pony's engine requires the electricity stored inside your battery in order to start up. At the same time, your battery is recharged by your alternator while the engine is running. This ultimately places the heavy responsibility of making sure that your engine starts up with the alternator, a device with a heavy weight already on its figurative shoulders. You see, your Ford Mustang's alternator also creates the electricity for your entire electrical system and your electronic accessories. So, any alternator failures will affect you a lot of your pony's parts-from the ones that make your driving experience safe and comfortable to the ones that make your Mustang run in the first place. To make sure that your alternator keeps working at its best you'll need to do the following:
Inspecting the drive belt
Your Ford Mustang alternator is made up of a rotating magnet, called a rotor, inside stationary copper wire coil known as a stator. As the rotor turns, it generates the electrical energy required by your pony's different parts. The alternator has a drive belt, which ensures that this component keeps on spinning. So, keeping your alternator working at its best will require that you ensure that this belt keeps its tension and that it doesn't look too worn down. You can do so by having it checked by the service team whenever you take it in for an oil change. Alternatively, you can do it yourself if you want to be more hands on with your car. Look under the hood, and examine the belt closely. If you see that the belt is starting to look glazed on its inner surface, then you'll need to adjust it because it is slipping and losing tension. But, when you see a lot of cracks or dry rot on the belt, then you'll need to replace it with a new one.
Recharging the battery
A dying battery isn't just engine trouble waiting to happen, it can also be the death of your alternator. Because this hardworking part is designed to recharge your battery, it will work harder if your battery's store of electrical energy is low. So, make sure that this function doesn't drain your alternator's energies away by getting a battery charger that you can just plug into a socket. Just be sure to follow all the safety procedures when using the charger and your alternator will thank you by continuing to work well.