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November 17, 2010

Take Care of Your Alternator as Winter Approaches

Bosch alternator Dim headlights? Slow windshield wipers and turn signals? Weak battery? It could be the alternator.

The alternator, which powers the vehicle’s entire electrical system, not only provides current to operate all of your car’s electrical accessories and the engine – it keeps the vehicle’s battery charged, and its importance is amplified as the weather turns colder and the vehicle uses more power-robbing accessories.

“Today, with fancy headlights, quick-acting rear window defrosters, stereo system with multiple speakers, in-car television or DVD player, global navigation system and high output heating and air conditioning, the alternator and the battery are often hard pressed to keep everything functioning. Demands can often far exceed the alternator’s capacity, leading to less than stellar performance from accessories – and ultimately to a dead battery,” said Fred Padgett, Group Product Manager, Starting and Charging Products for Bosch, the world’s largest automotive supplier.

So if you notice your headlights dim when you are using your heater and wipers – and really dim if you add the radio – this is often a warning sign that the alternator in your car may not be working up to capacity, or may not have the capacity needed to power the vehicle’s electrical needs.

An automotive service facility can check the vehicle’s electrical system for problems, make sure the battery is okay, and check the alternator output to make sure it is operating properly. If the alternator is the culprit, replace it or upgrade it – if necessary. Bosch, for instance, offers both new and remanufactured alternators that meet and often exceed original vehicle equipment standards. While older cars did well with 50-60 amps, modern vehicles today often need 90 to 130 amps, or more.

And both new and remanufactured Bosch alternators carry the exclusive free two-year emergency roadside assistance warranty if the alternator fails – the ultimate peace of mind for motorists – which could be very valuable in the colder months, which places greater requirements on the alternator, according to Padgett.

“Bosch is a supplier to most vehicle manufacturers and this has proved to be a tremendous advantage for its new and remanufactured aftermarket alternators. Bosch is familiar with the alternator’s basic technology and subjects replacement alternator to 100 percent end of the line testing, for proper turn on speed, voltage regulator functions, and full load test for amperage output at all RPM ranges – to ensure performance and durability,” Padgett noted.

For more information on Bosch automotive products, visit

Bosch is a proud supporter of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association’s Know Your Parts® education and awareness campaign. This initiative promotes the importance of quality brand name aftermarket parts backed by full service suppliers, and its impact on delivering reliable products to today’s motorists. For more information visit:

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, some 275,000 associates generated sales of $53 billion (38.2 billion euros) in fiscal 2009. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 300 subsidiaries and regional companies in over 60 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is repre­sented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for growth. Each year, Bosch spends more than $5 billion (3.5 billion euros) for research and development, and applies for some 3,800 patents worldwide. With all its products and services, Bosch enhances the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial.

In the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the Bosch Group manufactures and markets automotive original equipment and aftermarket products, industrial drives and control technology, power tools, security and communication systems, packaging technology, thermotechnology, household appliances, solar energy and healthcare products. Having established a regional presence in 1906, Bosch employs over 20,000 associates in more than 70 locations, with reported sales of $7.3 billion in fiscal 2009.


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