All vehicles with internal combustion engines have alternators. The instrument helps to keep the engine running and also recharge the car battery. An alternator has a belt running around and fix to the front of the car engine.
Are alternators universal? In short, No. Alternators come with different Amps and mounting configurations. Consider buying an alternator with the same Amps for the replacement to charge the battery fast.
But universal alternators can work on a variety of car engines. These alternators have remanufactured parts to fit the mounting configuration of any vehicle.
But consider seeking mounting assistance from a professional mechanic. Keep reading this article to know if alternators are vehicle specific, interchangeable, and the same. The information will also help you know when to upgrade your car’s alternator for better performance.
Are Alternators Vehicle Specific?
The advancement in the automotive industry has brought many changes. Modern vehicles are replacing older versions at a faster rate. The electrical components for these modern cars are different from the older vehicles. So, are alternators vehicle specific?
Yes. Modern cars have regulators and alternators as a single unit. But these parts in older vehicles are available separately. Besides that, the different alternator’s terminals on the back serve specific purposes. These terminals help to sense the battery voltage.
Consider checking the size and design of alternators before making any purchase. It makes that task of mounting look easier and enhances faster battery charging. I recommend visiting the nearest mechanic shop for assistance. You’ll avoid the risk of buying an alternator with fewer Amps. Keep in mind that an alternator with less than one amp will not charge the battery fast enough.
Are Alternators Interchangeable?
Alternators come with different Amps output, sizes, and designs. These are crucial factors to consider when buying a new alternator for your vehicle. So, are alternators interchangeable?
No. But those contained in each row usually have the same mounting configuration. Ensure the Amps matches the older alternator before replacing it. Interchangeable alternators usually come with wiring harness adapters, one wire regulator, and instruction guidelines.
These alternators are the best option for jeep wranglers and ford. You should also note that the make and model of your vehicle will determine the type of alternator to purchase. Different cars need specific alternators.
Are All Alternators the Same?
All alternators serve the same purpose. These components help to recharge the battery and provide the appropriate amount of power to the vehicle. So, are all alternators the same? Not really. Alternators have different mounting configurations, designs, and Amps output.
The differences help to suit specific makes and models of vehicles. Be sure to purchase an alternator with the same mounting configurations and Amps. If you buy one with fewer Amps, the battery will not charge fast enough. Besides that, different mounting configurations will make the installation task challenging.
You might end up damaging the component in the long run. The best option is to visit an auto repair shop for assistance. The mechanics will select an alternator with the same serial number as your older one.
Can You Upgrade Your Alternator?
Most car enthusiasts do install aftermarket radios without worrying much about alternator output amperage. But the audio system ends up working without facing any challenges. So, can you upgrade your alternator?
Yes. If you have a sound system that demands more power than the factory alternator can handle, consider upgrading to higher output amperage. A higher output alternator will ensure all the electrical components and audio systems benefit from the available power supply.
It fosters smooth operations by meeting different tolerances. Keep in mind that a high-output alternator will not hurt your electrical components and charging system. It only gives the amount of power that suits a specific car component.
How Much Does It Cost to Upgrade Alternator?
Performance is a vital element in a car. It is the dream of every car owner to possess a ride with incredible driving experience and power. An alternator usually contributes a certain percentage of power to the vehicle. Upgrading the alternator will imply more power generation to foster smooth operations.
So, how much does it cost to upgrade the alternator? Approximately $300 to $500. But this depends on your location, vehicle make, and model. The price of the new alternator ranges from $500 to $1000. If you are looking to replace the existing alternator with a remanufactured one, it will cost you about $400. But it again depends on your geographical location and the auto repair shop prices.
Final Words on Are Alternators Universal
Alternators have specific serial numbers depending on the make and model of the vehicle. The part number helps to ensure it has the exact mounting configuration. Universal alternators can work on any vehicle engine.
These types of alternators contain new parts or remanufactured parts that match all the mounting configurations. Be sure to select an alternator with the same output amperage, size, and design. The same alternator size and design make the mounting task look easy.
Robert Anderson is a world class motorhead who rebuilt his first carb at age 10, his first engine at age 15, and completed his first full hotrod build when he was just 18! Previously, he has ran a part warehouse, delivered pizzas, and managed the service department for a $20 million/year revenue dealership. Robert knows cars like few others and he is passionate about sharing his knowledge.