Tip of the Day

You can improve your gas mileage about 3.3% simply by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure!

Batteries, Starters & Alternators

What Is It?

Your car's starting and charging systems, and the battery help ensure dependable vehicle operation whenever your drive your car and in all sorts of driving conditions. Make sure to check these systems regularly.

What Does It Do?

The battery stores electrical energy and the starter converts that energy into mechanical force to turn the engine for starting. The alternator produces electric current to replace what the starter used during start-up and to support electrical loads when the engine is running. An ignition module turns the low-voltage supply to the ignition coil on and off, and the coil produces the high voltage for the ignition systems. This creates a spark at the spark plugs and ignites the air/fuel mixture in the engine. A belt transmits power from the front of the engine to the alternator's pulley, along with other accessories.

Typical Wear and Tear?

Driving habits such as frequent engine on/off cycles will cause more wear on the starter than a simple trip back and forth to work. Other factors include:
- Driving and weather conditions
- Mileage
- Vehicle age
- Excessive electrical draws like in-vehicle entertainment systems


- Headlights and interior lights dim
- "Check Engine" and/or battery light may come on
- Accessories fail to operate

Information provided by Car Care Counsel, a national non-profit organization established to educate consumers about the benefits of proper vehicle care, maintenance and repair.