Your car or truck battery might start things up, but a dependable OEM alternator is key to keeping everything running. Alternators do that by making sure power travels between your battery and electrical systems consistently. However, even the best of alternators straight from the factory can go bad without warning. Everything from how well-made they are to your driving conditions can factor in. Even the electronics you use can have a part in alternator failure. So, when should you replace an alternator? Look for signs like electrical failure, flickering headlights, an unreliable car radio or entertainment system, and even a burning smell during battery and alternator inspection. Also, your alternator warning light can illuminate on the dash, or your engine could begin to squeal. However, you may not even see the symptoms of a failing alternator. You could cause one accidentally with no more than an incorrect jump-start. You could even overload your alternator while connecting accessories. You can even be having alternator trouble when all you think you have is a dead battery. That would result from electronics switching over entirely from alternator power. A bad alternator can even damage nearby auto parts like bearings if it's leaking fluid or the belt is too tight. That will result in quicker wear and tear. So, if your dash is lit up with a battery warning of you've got weak headlights, do an inspection. Follow it with a charging system test. When you should change your alternator is simple: at 80,000 to 150,000 miles. That's about every 7 years or so. Get more details from your owner's manual's alternator maintenance schedule. The best alternator for your replacement project is a genuine one. Order online today from our auto parts counter and we'll have one out to you in no time!