Alternators Buying Guide: Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Alternator?
A primary part of the charging system in a vehicle, and a critical one. Without one, the luxury car or SUV you love wouldn't run at all.
What Does One Do?
It turns mechanical energy into electrical energy. This is how car batteries charge. It's also how other electrical systems, like dash lights and displays, power windows, and the car radio run. Ditto for the power steering and windshield wipers, among others.
How Do Alternators Work?
It's a process. It starts with the engine, which runs serpentine and drive belts. The belts move a pulley, and the pulley turns a rotor shaft. The shaft then spins a set of magnetic coils. The coils' movement creates a magnetic field -- essentially, electricity. A rectifier on the alternator transforms the current from AC into DC -- a charge a voltage regulator manages.
Why Do They Fail?
Usually, either the parts get damaged or degrade, the belt ends up too tight, a jump-start goes wrong, or an accessory gets installed incorrectly. When one goes bad, it often happens without warning, too. However, there are symptoms to suggest one is going out.
What are The Signs of a Bad One?
The most obvious are battery and alternator warning lights on the dash. Others include:
- Malfunctioning lighting
- Electronics working erratically
- Fluid leaks from the alternator
- A squeaking engine
- A dead battery
- A burning smell, under the hood and near the battery or alternator
If you see any, inspect the alternator and run a charging system test. If results require it, replace the alternator.
When Do You Change One Otherwise?
Every 7 years. That's every 80,000 to 150,000 miles. For more info and instructions, check the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual. However, before you order a new one, make sure it's genuine.
Why Buy a Genuine Lexus Alternator?
What your brand makes for its cars and SUVs is guaranteed to fit them. It follows that one will fit your model.
Where Can I Order a Genuine OEM Alternator for My Lexus?
Online, from our catalog, in just a couple clicks. Simply browse by model and model year -- you'll be able to find what's compatible more easily. Buy now, and we'll ship quickly, delivering right to your door.
No results found for "alternator". Here are some helpful search tips:
- Search by a part name. Example: water pump.
- Be less specific. Example: brake instead of ceramic brake.
- Remove information such as make, year or model.
- Can't find the part you are looking for? Contact us and we'll find it for you!