Are all the components of your Buick running well? Can you use it safely at
night with all the lights on and with the air conditioning system and all other
electronic components running? If yes, then you have one fine Buick. If not,
then there definitely is something wrong somewhere. Check on the various auto
lights and their wirings if anything is wrong. Also check on the connections
and components of the various electronic systems in the vehicle. If nothing is
wrong with all of these and yet they won't work properly, then it probably is
the Buick alternator that is causing the problem.
An alternator is an electromechanical device that is used to convert mechanical
energy into electrical energy. Under the hood of your Buick, the Buick alternator
is driven by a belt off the vehicle's engine. Once the engine starts running,
the mechanical energy it generates is converted by the alternator into electrical
energy that can be used to charge the battery and to power the various electrical
and electronic components inside your Buick.
Buick alternators are basically made up of four major parts, although these components
may also be equipped with other small and minor parts. These four major parts
consists of the rotor, the stator, the diode packs and the voltage regulator.
The rotor is basically an electromagnet that rotates inside the stator, which
is an iron core wrapped with coils. The rotor/stator pair is actually the pair
that generates electrical energy from the engine's mechanical energy. This electricity,
however, is still in alternating current (AC) form and must first be converted
by the diode packs into direct current (DC) before they can be used by the battery
and the vehicle's electrical system. Once in DC form, this current would then
be controlled by the voltage regulator so as to avoid erratic electric surges.
With a heavily damaged Buick alternator, it is impossible for your Buick's battery
to get charged and for its various electrical and electronic components to work
properly. Unluckily, such damage won't be noticeable when you're just starting
your vehicle. Usually, your Buick would still run a few miles with battery power
alone. You'll only notice that there is something wrong with the alternator once
the battery of your Buick gets all drained of power.
So if you don't want to experience any hassle while driving because of a damaged
alternator, better be watchful of the early signs of damage. If electric power
output is low or if there is no power output at all, then it is proper to suspect
an alternator damage. Replace the damage alternator parts at once, or if the
damage is too large, better replace it with a new one from Parts Train.