While you may think that the battery is the powerhouse of your engine, its only real purpose is to start your engine so that the real powerhouse can run your radio, keep your air conditioner going and power your headlights.

Basically, your alternator works like a generator. When the engine is running, it turns a series of wheels that spin another wheel in the alternator, producing energy. In addition to the other things it powers, the alternator also recharges your battery for the next time you need to start your car. Signs your alternator is failing include dimming lights or electrical systems not working at all. A light on your dashboard that resembles a battery suddenly lighting up is also an indicator. If you smell something burning or a high-pitched whine, the belt in your alternator is failing.

If you think your alternator is giving you trouble, visit Mercedes-Benz of Santa Fe to have it serviced.

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