3 Factors to Determine the Right BMW Alternator for You
As the main electrical supplier of your vehicle, a BMW alternator must be selected correctly to ensure great driving performance. Below are the three main factors you need to keep in mind so you will have the correct and exact fit.
Know the main parts
It is always good to have a basic knowledge about the main parts of a component. Typically, a BMW alternator has four main parts that include the rotor, stator, rectifier, and regulator.
- Rotor:This part consists of the shaft, iron core, winding, pole, and slips rings. It functions as a producer of amperage when the electrical windings rotate.
- Stator: Consists of the windings and steel stampings, the stator produces amperage on a stationary set of windings.
- Rectifier:This part comprises of diodes fitted in an insulator. It mainly converts AC voltage into direct current voltage as it travels to the battery.
- Regulator: This part comprises of different terminals, plus a heat sink. It controls the production of voltage, regulates the current flow, and may be installed either inside or outside the assembly. New vehicle models now mostly have alternators with internal regulators.
Besides the above main parts, there are other elements in an alternator that serve important functions in the operation. There is the pulley that drives the rotor off the engine's movement. A fan that is strategically positioned behind the pulley works by dispersing the heat and cooling the diodes, plus brushes to help the transference of electric current between the battery and alternator. Other important elements are the housing, which is usually made of cast aluminum so it weighs very light and dispels heat easily, plus the front and rear bearings that secure the housing in place.
Consider the total electrical load
You need to figure out the total electric load of you BMW to help you select the right alternator. One of the most accurate ways to know the load is by using an ammeter. When the engine is off and the battery charged, you can connect the ammeter and alternatively switch each electric component on and off. As you add up the readings, you can determine the amount of electrical load. Keep in mind that your BMW alternator output should be fifty percent higher than the amount. In case you do not have an ammeter, get an estimated load by inspecting the accessory fuses. Although the amp ratings are greater than the highest draw of each component, the total of all the fuse ratings will give you an overall idea of your electrical load.
Choose between brand new and refurbished
A cheaper alternative to a brand new alternator is a refurbished one. A refurbished alternator is an alternator that has been completely taken apart to thoroughly clean and check each component. Broken and defective parts are then replaced with brand new ones. In order to get the right refurbished alternator for your BMW, make sure to have it tested for power and select the one that has a longer warranty. Some high-quality refurbished alternators have a warranty ranging from one to three years.
Quality-Built Premium Alternator
The Quality-Built (QB) Premium alternator is a remanufactured product--meaning each component that could possibly fail or is prone to normal wear is replaced with a brand-new component. This gives it unrivaled dependability. Subjected to careful testing under stringent quality standards, it is an affordable and reliable OE replacement. It is designed to be regulated by the vehicle's onboard computer, ensuring effective use of the voltage supplied. It comes with a standard 24/7 QB Roadside Assistance Program (RAP), allowing the driver to call a toll-free dispatch number (located on the roadside assistance card) in the event of an emergency. The service is available anywhere in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico and includes a jump-start or tow. The QB Premium alternator also comes with a lifetime QB limited warranty.
This brand-new OE replacement alternator has all the right qualities and components to effectively power a vehicle's electrical system. It has an output of 150 amps, making it more than capable of handling most of a vehicle's electrical requirements (typical passenger cars and light trucks use alternators that only produce around 50-70 amps). It also comes with a pulley that uses a serpentine belt. This belt system consumes less space in the engine compartment and, because it has higher belt tension and reduced slip, allows for higher fuel economy and available power. This replacement alternator comes with a two-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.
AutoTrust Platinum Alternator
The AutoTrust Platinum alternator is a great choice for an OE replacement because of its dependable performance and impressive unlimited warranty terms. It has an electrical output of 150 amps, which is more than double the 50-70-amp alternators that most passenger cars and light trucks use. It is designed to be regulated by the vehicle's onboard computer, which makes sure that the voltage supplied always goes to good use. It comes with a pulley and uses a serpentine-belt system that increases belt life and mechanical efficiency. The AutoTrust Platinum alternator comes with a 5-year unlimited warranty--it can be replaced free of charge (except for shipping and handling fees) as often as necessary during the five-year period.