What does an alternator do?
The alternator is the device responsible for generating electricity to charge the battery. It’s coupled with the engine drive, which means whenever the car is running, the battery is being charged. Without a charged battery there is no delivery of power to the electrical components or to generate the sparks used to combust the fuel in the engine.
How often should an alternator need replacing?
An alternator typically lasts around 7 years or between 100k and 150k miles.
The law, vehicle regulations and your MOT
Without a correctly functioning alternator, your car is unlikely to hold enough charge in the battery to drive for any purposeful length of time. Having said that, the alternator won’t be tested during an MOT, so as long as the battery has enough charge for the engine and other electrical components to run for the duration of the examination, then it can still achieve a pass.
We do not recommend this in any circumstance. If there is a problem with your alternator, you should have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
What causes an alternator to stop working correctly?
An alternator might break down due to a bearing failure, preventing the rotor from spinning freely. Fluid leaks or a too tight belt (or a loose belt slipping) can also cause damage and premature wearing.
Symptoms of a malfunctioning alternator
When the battery is flat
If your battery is flat and refuses to accept charge through normal driving, then your alternator could be the problem.
The lights aren’t as bright as normal
If your headlamps aren’t as bright as normal or the function of other electrical components is weak, your alternator may not be supplying as much charge to the battery as it needs.
The battery warning light is illuminated on the dashboard
All warning lights are an indicator that a sensor has detected a failed component or poor operation. A battery warning light could be connected to your alternator performance.
BMW AG is a German automobile and motorcycle manufacturer that was established over 100 years ago in March 1916. They also own Mini and Rolls Royce, after taking over the two British marques in 2000 and 1998 respectively.
How popular is BMW in the United Kingdom?
BMW makes luxury vehicles and is possibly most famous for its sports saloon models. In 2018, BMW had 1.9m vehicles on the roads in the UK, a number that has been steadily increasing each year for the past decade.
As one of the ‘big 3’ German marques, along with Audi and Mercedes, BMW carries a strong reputation for making high-quality stylish vehicles, and have captured a large section of the UK market.
Luxury family and business models for every driver
Probably most popular for the 3 Series and 5 Series saloon models, BMW has got every possible angle covered for the more discerning drivers.
The full range includes everything from the 1 Series city car to the full-size saloons and sports coupes of the 7 and 8 Series models.
To provide everything you’d ever need for family motoring there’s a seven-seat MPV, their range of X model SUVs, and since 2014, the introduction of their plug-in electric i models. Top it all off with their M model high-performance supercars, the Z4 convertible and the i8 Roadster—and you’ve got the full package.
BMW: High performance on and off the track
BMW has a successful history in a range of motorsports.
They have been significant performers in touring car racing and rally driving, enjoyed success in Formula One with the BMW Sauber team, and BMW cars have been regular competitors and winners at Le Mans since the race’s early years.
BMW’s reliability and reputation
BMW ranked 16th place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. BMW hasn’t always had the best reputation for reliability but to rank alongside marques such as Honda, Volkswagen and Fiat they’re holding their own alongside plenty of the other big names.
Recent BMW recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on BMW models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
22/03/2019 – BMW X5 (2018)
Incorrect tightening torque of left front seat fixing bolts
22/03/2019 – BMW X5, 5 Series (2000–2003)
Potential rupture of driver front airbag inflator
04/03/2019 – BMW X1 (2018–2019)
Rear lights may be fixed with incorrect securing units
01/03/2019 – BMW X5, X6, 7 Series, 6 Series and 5 Series (2009–2011)
Auxiliary water pump’s electronics could lead to a short circuit
01/02/2019 – BMW X5 and X6 (2007–2010)
The idler pulley bolt could become loosened
21/01/2019 – BMW M3, M4 and M4 convertible (2016)
The flange of the propshaft may become detached
27/12/2018 – BMW X6 (2014–2015)
EGR module cooler could leak
27/12/2018 – BMW 4 Series (2013–2015)
Exhaust gas recirculation module cooler could leak
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.