An alternator is one of the most important components of a car charging system. The role of the alternator is to generate power to charge the car battery and supply power to other electronic components of a car. It works when the engine is running. The alternator is usually bolted on the engine. It’s driven by a drive belt. The drive belt is also known as a serpentine belt.
An alternator generates electric current through electromagnetism. Although alternators are almost maintenance-free, they may develop problems after several years of use. Once the alternator fails, it’ll need replacement soonest possible. Although your car may continue running after the alternator fails, it’ll soon stall once the battery power is depleted.
If you’re having difficulties starting your car, experiencing electric failures, having a weak battery, or the headlights are dimming or flickering, then it’s likely that the alternator is failing. In this case, have your car charging system inspected by a mechanic. If the alternator is faulty, then it’ll need replacement.
There’re dozens of alternators available in the market today. You can choose between an OEM and aftermarket replacement. However, most OEM alternators are quite expensive. Thus, you can save some money by investing in a top-quality aftermarket alternator. We’ve reviewed the best alternators available today to assist you in making the right choice.
Top 10 Alternators
#1. DB Electrical AFD0012 New Alternator
DB Electrical manufactures top-quality auto parts. The DB Electrical AFD0012 alternator is specially designed as an aftermarket alternator suitable for OEM replacements. It’s designed to meet OEM standards. Additionally, the alternator is made with industrial-grade components for durability.
The alternator is rated at 12 volts. Thus, it works efficiently with a 12-volt car battery, which is the standard for car batteries. It has a power output of 95 amperes, which is higher than what most factory alternators output. Its high power output makes it deliver sufficient power to charge the battery quickly and feed car electronics with sufficient power.
Additionally, the alternator comes with a user installation guide. Thus, any DIY handy car owner with basic mechanic skills will find it easy to install the alternator. To add to that, the alternator is brand new. It’s made of brand new components such that you’re guaranteed of investing in a durable alternator.
The alternator is suitable for use in several Mazda B Series pickups, Mazda Navajo, Ford Aerostar, Ford Bronco, Ford E-Series, Ford F-100 & F-350 pickups, Ford Ranger, TUG Belt Loader, and Tug Tow Tractor among other models.
#2. ACDelco 335-1086 Professional Alternator
ACDelco is one of the leading auto parts manufacturers. The brand is known for manufacturing high-quality auto parts, including alternators for several car models. The ACDelco 335-1086 alternator is made of brand new components for longevity and enhanced performance. It’s built under ISO standards to guarantee quality. It’s ideal for installation in several GM car models.
All the components in the alternator are made of premium-quality materials. Besides, its design integrates innovative technologies for enhanced performance. The alternator has undergone rigorous testing to assure its quality.
It has been thoroughly tested for voltage stability to ensure that the battery and electronic components receiver electric supply within the right levels. It has also been tested for terminal function and the build quality of the circuit board.
Its mechanical components are lubricated during assembly. Lubrication of the components minimizes friction and wear that results from daily use. The lubrication also makes the alternator more reliable.
Additionally, the alternator comes with an integrated fan that runs continuously to keep the alternator cool. That way, the alternator components won’t burn out when used for a prolonged period.
#3. Remy 94113 New Alternator
Remy is famous for manufacturing reliable automotive alternators, electrical components, and starters. The Remy 94113 alternator is brand new, with the capability of delivering a massive power output of 160 amperes at 12 volts. Its high power output will charge the car battery to its full capacity within no time. Besides, it’ll provide enough power to all electronic components.
The alternator boasts of having an internal fan. The fan runs efficiently at all times to ensure that the alternator functions without overheating in the hot engine environment. Thus, the fan makes the alternator more reliable under heavy usage.
Also, it features an external voltage regulator. The external regulator design allows for enhanced efficiency when charging the battery. Besides, you’ll find it easy to replace the external regulator when needed.
The alternator is designed to exceed the performance delivered by OEM alternators. It meets OEM specifications for easier installation. This makes it an ideal replacement for OEM alternators.
#4. Tuff Stuff 7068 Alternator
One of the most outstanding things about this alternator is that it is hand-built for enhanced durability. It’s made to exceed OEM standards, making it ideal to replace a faulty OEM alternator. The alternator is ideal for installation in some Ford car models.
The alternator also boasts of being made with brand new components. Thus, you’re assured of longevity since you’ll be the first-time user of the alternator. The alternator is also designed to offer massive power. It’s capable of delivering 100 amperes of power at 12 volts.
It features coils made of heavy-duty copper for enhanced energy efficiency. The copper coils are strong enough to remain secure in place despite constant mechanical movements and vibrations when running in the car engine environment.
The alternator features diodes that resist voltage spikes. That way, the circuit is protected from damage resulting from voltage spikes. Consequently, the lifespan of the alternator is prolonged.
#5. Bosch AL6426N New Alternator
Bosch is a leading manufacturer of aftermarket auto parts. Its products are known for quality and reliability. The Bosch AL6426N alternator is not any different. It’s designed with quality in mind, featuring superior quality components.
Its components are made of materials that resist wear and heat. It’s able to perform reliably at high temperatures and high power demands. Also, the alternator is made of new materials and components for longevity.
The alternator is tested under full load to assure you of reliable performance. It’s also tested to meet OEM specifications, including voltage and ampere output. Thus, you’re guaranteed of investing in an alternator that will charge your car battery efficiently.
Its housing is properly ventilated such that its components can work under demanding power needs without overheating. It also comes with an internal fan to keep the interior components cool for efficient performance.
#6. ACDelco 335-1196 Professional Alternator
ACDelco 335-1196 alternator is yet another reliable alternator. One of its key features is that the alternator is made with brand new components. Each component is specially designed to deliver dependable performance. Consequently, the alternator is highly reliable in all conditions.
The alternator has undergone thorough computer testing. It has been tested to ensure it performs as per the required OEM standards and specifications. Thus, you’re assured of stable voltage output to keep your car electronic components and battery safe. All the terminals in its circuit board have also been tested for reliable performance.
Additionally, the alternator is engineered with an innovative design that makes it outmatch OEM alternators. Thus, it offers more efficient operation than most OEM alternators. Also, its housing is ventilated on all sides for enhanced cooling, especially when the alternator is running at its full potential for a prolonged period.
#7. Powermaster 47861 Alternator
Although this Powermaster 47861 alternator is compactly built, it has a lot of potential. The alternator is extremely powerful. It offers a power output of 140 amperes at its full potential and at least 95 amperes when idle. Thus, it can recharge the car battery at low engine RPMs.
It offers flexibility in installation such that you can install it by hooking up a single wire for the output or hook it with three wires using an OEM regulator harness. Additionally, it features a rear post that is located on the side to allow for applications that require some clearance at the rear.
The alternator is designed to fit in OEM mounting locations. Thus, you won’t struggle to modify the mounting location. Besides, you’ll be able to install it without any adapter brackets. As such, you’ll find it quite easy to install it.
#8. Bosch AL598N New Alternator
The Bosch AL598N alternator is yet another great auto part from Bosch. It offers a power output of 95 amperes at 12 volts. It comes with an internal fan for enhanced cooling. Additionally, the housing is sufficiently ventilated for better air circulation and faster cooling.
The alternator is completely new, with its components being made of top-quality materials. The materials used in its manufacture can withstand intense heat. In addition, its housing is made of aluminum to resist corrosion.
Besides, the aluminum housing is non-magnetic such that it doesn’t interfere with the operation of the alternator components. Additionally, the aluminum housing keeps its weight low. It also assists in dissipating the heat generated by the alternator.
The alternator comes with a voltage regulator that offers stable power output. It’s also designed to eliminate open circuits and short circuits.
#9. Premier Gear PG-13671 Professional Grade New Alternator
The Premier Gear PG-13671 alternator is professionally made to exceed OEM requirements. It’ll easily fit in the OEM location of compatible vehicles. In addition, it’s made using newly manufactured components. Each component is made with top-quality materials.
The alternator is tested for performance. It has undergone thorough validation for power output, both on full speed and idle mode. Besides, it has been tested to endure tough conditions, including extreme environmental conditions and heavy usage.
Another notable feature that comes with the alternator is that it’s lubricated during assembly with high-temperature grease. Consequently, it’ll perform efficiently under high loads, high RPM, and extreme temperature. It delivers a power of 70 amperes at its full potential.
#10. Quality-Built 7127103 Premium Domestic Alternator
Just like its name suggests, Quality-Built 7127103 alternator is built for top-quality performance. The alternator is remanufactured for better performance than most OEM alternators. Thus, it’s built to offer more reliability.
All the components that are prone to wear have been replaced with new parts for enhanced durability. Regardless of the alternator being remanufactured, it’s tested to guarantee durability. Besides, it’s tested under full load to ensure consistent and reliable performance.
Its mounting threads are re-tapped to make it easier to install the alternator. All its terminals have also undergone thorough testing. Additionally, it features high-temperature insulators for more secure connections.
The bearings are lubricated with high-temperature grease to reduce friction and wear, especially when using it under high RPMs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s an alternator?
An alternator is a device used to charge the car battery and provide the car electric system with power when the engine is running.
What are the main signs of a failing alternator?
You can tell that your alternator is failing by noticing issues such as:
- Weakened car battery- In case the car battery appears to be weakening or it’s already dead, then you might be dealing with a failing alternator. While a battery dies on its own after years of use, the issue can also result from a bad alternator. In case the battery is still sending out enough charge on the gauge with the engine turned off, then the battery is not the problem. On the other hand, a failing alternator will not generate enough power such that electric components will drain the battery and damage it more quickly. Thus, have the alternator checked for possible damage.
- Dimming or flickering headlights- Another sign of a failing alternator is when the headlights start dimming. For instance, if you notice that the headlights are dimming when driving slowly and brightening when driving faster, then you’re most likely dealing with a failing alternator. Also, if the lights on your dashboard are dimming or flickering, it’s an indicator of a failing alternator.
- Problems in starting your car- In case it’s challenging to start your car, then the alternator might be failing. A failing alternator will not charge the battery to its capacity. Consequently, the battery will not have enough power to start the engine. In this case, have the battery checked. If the battery is found to be functional, then you might be having a failing alternator.
- Weird noises- A bad alternator may have some broken parts. Broken parts may cause a grinding noise. Also, a whining noise is another indicator of a failing alternator. If you notice such weird noises, have the alternator checked.
- Malfunctioning electronics- If some electronics fail to function properly, then it’s likely that the alternator is not delivering enough electrical power. For instance, the windows, wipers, power locks, and other such components may fail to operate normally when the alternator fails.
What are the main components of an alternator?
An alternator comprises of components such as a rotor, regulator, slip rings, stator, bearings, rectifier, and pulley.
What’s the role of a regulator in an alternator?
The regulator controls the amount of power that the alternator delivers to the battery.
What are the most common alternator problems?
The most common problems in an alternator include worn contact rings, worn brushes, damaged bearings, and a failed regulator.
Should I continue driving with a failed alternator?
You might get lucky to drive for a short distance with a failed alternator and reach a service station. However, if you’re not anywhere near a service station, your car may stall once the battery runs out and you may have to call for towing services.
How long will my car battery last with a failed alternator?
It’ll only run for a few minutes before running out of charge.
The alternator generates the much-needed electric power in a car. With a failed alternator, the car battery will run out of power and stall. Besides, the electronic components of your car will not function properly with a failing alternator.
Thus, a failed alternator will make your car unusable until you replace it. When searching for a replacement alternator, consider factors such as the cooling mechanism, quality of the materials, power output, and ease of installation.
With this review and buying guide in mind, you’ll stand a better chance of investing in a high-performance and reliable alternator.
- Top 10 Alternators
- #1. DB Electrical AFD0012 New Alternator
- #2. ACDelco 335-1086 Professional Alternator
- #3. Remy 94113 New Alternator
- #4. Tuff Stuff 7068 Alternator
- #5. Bosch AL6426N New Alternator
- #6. ACDelco 335-1196 Professional Alternator
- #7. Powermaster 47861 Alternator
- #8. Bosch AL598N New Alternator
- #9. Premier Gear PG-13671 Professional Grade New Alternator
- #10. Quality-Built 7127103 Premium Domestic Alternator