When you own a car, you know that fix almost every problem in its parts/systems. For this purpose, you can certainly find the company service providers in your location. However, do you think that you are fortunate like this when it comes to alternators? In most cars, this part stops working after a very short time. Also, it can happen at times when you have no tool and solution to fix it. Therefore, it is crucial to understand this part, how it functions, and what a bad alternator is. If you know how long will a car run without alternator, it becomes easy to avoid bad situations. Without an alternator, your vehicle will run 5 to 30 minutes even a few hours depending upon the charging condition of your car battery.
Few very prominent symptoms are a clear indication that the car alternator is failing. If you observe any such problem when driving, know that you are driving with a bad alternator. These symptoms include battery failure, car stalling, unusual noises, and electric failure.
Knowing the symptoms can help you, but understanding what this part is and its working principle would of greater help. Let us learn about them first, and then move on to the main question that can a car run without an alternator?
Car Alternator and It's Working
Car battery receives charge with the help of car alternator. As this part generates power, the computer system of the vehicle runs through it. Moreover, the functioning of the electrical system is also at the disposal of this power. We can say that the battery uses the alternator’s power to run the engine system as well.
Now, what happens when the car alternator fails to generate power for the battery? Well, the battery starts to drain at a much faster rate than expected. This means that when there is some issue with the battery, it is wise to know already how to test an alternator. You can find the real problem right away if this part is faulty.
In general, the car alternators can last 150 thousand miles or 7 years of consecutive use. Some mechanical experts are of the view that alternators can last no longer than 80 thousand miles.
How Long will a Car Run without Alternator?
If you understand the failing alternator correctly, you will be able to choose the best car alternator for your car, such as the AutoZone alternator. In this way, you won’t face such a harsh situation ever in the future. When the alternator fails to work, the power of the whole engine cuts off. The engine might keep running for some time as it uses some of its power, but eventually, it dies too.
So, how long will the battery last for your car engine to work normally with a dead alternator an important question? Well, two main factors decide this time duration. These are:
1. Battery of Car
The first thing on which it depends is the battery of the car. For instance, the car battery has less than full charging, the car can keep working for up to 30 minutes. However, if the charging is full, the time duration will increase up to 45 to 50 minutes.
Other than this, the quality of the battery that you are using in your vehicle also plays a very important role. It should maintain its quality for a longer period so that there is no gap in the power supply of the engine. Our recommendation is to use the best battery for your car such as Optima battery or ACDelco AGM Battery according to your requirements.
2. Model of Car
One more factor that is crucial in this situation is the model of your car. The running time of the engine after alternator failure varies with the car model as well. Let us learn about two main car models that can run even the alternator is fully dead.
● Gasoline Car Model
We know that the gasoline car models make very small use of energy from the battery during day time. They are not using power for the headlights. So, the only sources consuming it are spark plugs and the computing systems in the car. So, if the model is from the 1960s onwards, you will be able to cover 50 miles with the dead alternator.
● Diesel Car Model
There are diesel car models that do not have spark plugs. So, if you are using one of those, then chances are that you can run the vehicle even longer than the gasoline one after alternator failure. Diesel car models that are older than the 1960s can run as long as there is fuel in the engine. Alternator failure cannot stop these cars at all.
● Latest Car Models
A car made after the 1990s does not run more than half an hour after alternator failure. This because the new model comes with sensors, computer systems, and multiple electronic types of equipment. All these systems use power from the car engine. Therefore, the battery that is providing it to the engine through the alternator does not last very long.
Even some of the latest cars have steering that uses electric power. They drain the engine power at a very fast rate. Other than this, they sometimes also have automatic control systems that further consume the battery power. Thus, do not allow you to cover even a few miles without a properly functioning alternator. Thus always purchase the most rated alternators like DB Electrical or Premier Gear alternators according to your car model.
An alternator is a crucial part of our vehicle. Therefore, knowing exactly how long will a car run without alternator is of great importance. When it is not working, your car engine will stop as it does not get any power for it. In other words, this part can destroy the functioning of the overall vehicle when it is dead. If you know how long will a car battery last without alternator, you can take it to the right place for a replacement.