What can damage your alternator?

If you own a heavy-duty engine, you’ll know that your alternator is a vital component of your machinery. Your alternator converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. There’s a lot that can go wrong with heavy-duty engines, and we are on hand to make things easier. If you are the owner of a Caterpillar, Komatsu, Cummins or Volvo, your priorities will likely be to maintain the health of your engine and extend its lifespan. Therefore, it is vital to understand how your alternator performance may be damaged, and how you can avoid this happening. Here at Jaytrac, we are specialists in heavy-duty engine replacement parts and are on-hand to help you diagnose and fix your engines.

Water damage

A common cause of damage to your alternator is due to water ingress. Water and electricals are never a good combination: it’s no surprise that if a large volume of liquid gets into the internal electronics of your alternator, it can cause failure. To prevent water damage, ensure that you keep your alternator as dry as possible, for example by checking connectors, sleeves, covers and engine cowlings.  The same preventative maintenance checks can also avoid dirt ingress that can lead to premature failure within the alternator.

Loose battery terminals

It’s also important to keep a check on your battery health as part of the maintenance of your heavy-duty engine. Loose or corroded battery terminals can cause bad electrical connections which may cause a short-circuit or prevent your alternator’s ability to charge your battery. Ensure that your battery terminals are always clean and tight and that your battery is in good condition.

Incorrect jump-starting

If you’ve ever jump-started a heavy-duty engine incorrectly, you may have witnessed the damage it can cause. This is one of the most destructive things you can do, as reversing the polarity of the system can cause irreparable damage to the alternator and other circuitry. If you are going to jump-start your engine, always do so in accordance with the manufacturer’s specification or consult with a trained technician.

Checking other components

It’s important to ensure that the components surrounding your alternator are also in good working order. Your heavy-duty engine consists of many important components: if one part is damaged, it may have a knock-on effect on your whole machine. For example, if your fan belt or drive pulley is loose then it may stop your alternator from working properly. Get into the routine of visually checking all parts of your machine before and after use to ensure everything is in good shape.

Not replacing when worn

This may seem like an obvious point, but we can’t stress enough the importance of replacing your alternator when it’s damaged or worn. Like any other parts of your heavy-duty engine, leaving damaged components unattended can make the problem worse, and may lead to non-starting just when you least expect it!

Here at Jaytrac, we have a wide range of electrical components in stock for Caterpillar, Komatsu, Cummins, and Volvo parts. We have over 25 years of experience in sourcing unique parts for our customers. Alongside electrical components, we can provide bearings, drive belts, filters and more.

Get in touch today to discuss your requirements on 01604 491133 or email sales@jaytrac.co.uk