For the olden times, it is called as the automotive generator but for the modern time, it is being referred to as the automotive alternator! For those of you who have been in the automotive dealings for sometime now might have probably encountered problems regarding this car part but for those who happen to hear this automotive term for the first time, then you might want to know more about it.
Essentially, an automotive alternator like the Mazda alternator is a device that is driven by a belt off the engine and used to convert mechanical energy into alternating current or electrical energy. It is the one that generates the needed electricity by the automobile's different systems specifically the electrical system. The generated electricity charges the vehicle's battery or batteries for immediate and future use.
These alternators are rated in terms of the amperage they produce making alternators available in variety of power or strength of a current of electricity expressed and measured in amperes. Also, found on older vehicles are DC generator, instead of an alternator, and generator-to-alternator conversions have become popular among enthusiasts who drive vintage vehicles.
An alternator assembly contains by the following components - a rotating field winding called the rotor, a stationary induction winding called the stator, a diode assembly called the rectifier bridge, a control device called the voltage regulator, and two internal fans to promote air circulation. On the outside, an alternator is made up of ID label, drive frame cover, end frame cover, regulator, diode and brush cover, drive pulley, circulation vent, mounting ear and the alternator B+ output terminal. If one of these components fails, the whole alternator unit is to be replaced.
Should you happen to encounter electrical problems with your automobile, you can check on your car's alternator. And in case your mechanic tells you to replace it already, you know where to fins the best quality Mazda alternators - through the Internet!
Mazda Alternator: Quick Guide for Buyers
- The alternator generates energy to power up the electrical system and recharge the car battery.
- Once the Mazda alternator starts to fail, this can set off a chain reaction and cause various electrical problems.
- Symptoms of a faulty alternator include flickering/dimming lights, slow electric-powered accessories, stalling/difficulty starting, dead battery, flashing dashboard warning light, and strange noises.
- OEM parts are more expensive than aftermarket parts and can only be bought at the dealership or select distributors.
- Aftermarket parts, which match OEM quality, come in lower prices and wider selections. However, the selection can also be overwhelming, and the quality may vary depending on the manufacturer.
Once the car battery feeds a jolt of electricity to the starter motor, the engine starts cranking and running. This prompts the alternator to generate energy for the electrical system and recharge the battery. A faulty Mazda alternator can set off a chain reaction and cause various electrical problems. If left unchecked, this can lead to an even bigger trouble. The battery may lose its charge and the engine will not crank or start anymore.
Signs of a Bad Alternator
To prevent serious car troubles and any inconvenience on the road, you must replace a defective alternator at once. You can tell if the alternator of your Mazda is failing with these symptoms:
When the alternator is struggling to perform, you can see the headlights of your Mazda flickering or dimming. Check if there are changes in other electrical components to confirm that the alternator is no longer in good condition.
Slow electric-powered accessories
A bad alternator will cause all sorts of electrical failure. Power windows may start whining as they go up or down; the power locks may act up; the radio may go on and off; and other electric-powered accessories may slow down or may not work at all.
The alternator delivers power to the spark plugs to ignite the fuel that keeps the engine running. A malfunctioning alternator may cause the engine to stall while driving or give you a hard time starting it.
Once the alternator breaks, the car battery will be drained and will not be able to recharge anymore.
If you see the indicator light flashing on the dashboard and hear some strange sounds from under the hood, you have to check the alternator right away, especially if they are accompanied by any of the listed symptoms. To fix your Mazda alternator problems, you need to find a dependable replacement.
OEM vs. Aftermarket
When searching for a Mazda alternator replacement, you have to choose between OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts and aftermarket options. Here is a quick guide to help you figure it out which is better for you:
OEM parts are made by the vehicle's manufacturer or its accredited suppliers.
- Comes in one type
- Guarantees exact fit
- Same quality as the original part
- More expensive than aftermarket options
- Available only at the dealership or select distributors
Aftermarket car parts are manufactured by companies that are not affiliated with the car maker.
- Lower-priced than OEM parts
- Can match or may exceed OEM quality
- Wider selection
- Available at auto parts stores and other shops
- Varied quality (depending on the manufacturer)
- Overwhelming selection
Mazda Alternator Cost
The price of a Mazda alternator ranges from around $30 to over $250, based largely on the year and model of the vehicle. Some alternators are sold brand new, while others are offered as remanufactured. Use the part number to easily narrow down your search or simply fill in the vehicle specifications to get an equivalent match to the original part.
Closer Look at Mazda Alternator
The vehicles of today have a much larger need for electric power than their predecessors, making the Mazda alternator an extremely important component. Many critical vehicle functions depend upon the power that is produced by the Mazda alternator. The vehicle computer requires power to do its job of monitoring and adjusting many crucial vehicle systems. The lighting system requires power to illuminate the path for your vehicle at night, and the engine-cooling fan draws power to keep your engine at a safe operating temperature. Your vehicle battery is not sufficient to run these systems for long without the charging power of the Mazda alternator to replenish the draw of power that these systems consume. The Mazda alternator draws upon the mechanical energy of the engine crankshaft, transmitted by a serpentine belt to turn the Mazda alternator, which enables it to convert that mechanical energy into the voltage, or electrical energy, needed to charge the battery and power the demanding electrical system of the vehicle. If the Mazda alternator is not functioning, the reserve power will quickly be depleted, leaving the vehicle unable to start and run. A stripped or loose belt is a common cause of a malfunctioning Mazda alternator, but if that has proven not to be the issue when having trouble, and you have checked the connections as well, the Mazda alternator may need replacement. We carry a selection of quality Mazda alternator replacement parts in our online catalog at great low prices. Our secure site is user-friendly making ordering easy, but if you prefer to place your Mazda alternator order by phone, our toll-free phone line is just as convenient.