The good news is yes, if you have a Protect My Car Extended Warranty, your alternator is covered with us. We’ll go through more extended warranties a little bit further down – so bare with me if you have an extended warranty with another company, even though you should really consider a PMC service contract instead.
The internal combustion engine and the alternator go hand in hand, as all internal combustion engine vehicles have an alternator. Unless you’re driving certain types of hybrids. For example, Toyota Hybrids use a pair of motors and generators connected to each other and to the gasoline engine.
If your alternator decides to crap out, you might not notice it immediately which can get you into trouble – although many symptoms of a failed alternator can be confused with a bad battery, so it’s worth taking your car to an ASE certified mechanic if you’re not 100% sure.
Because a battery repair will set you back about $100 dollars, while an alternator repair can be up to 6x that, depending on the model of your car. Even worse, if you misdiagnose a bad alternator as a battery failure, your new battery is toast too and those $100 dollars down the drain.
Personally, I prefer to lose my money in the casino at the poker table, not gambling it away on car repairs.
What Does Your Alternator Do?
If you think about it, your car needs a lot of electricity. Most of us take for granted our headlights, dash lights, charging ports and the like, not to mention the engine starting. While it’s easy to assume the battery is providing this power and be done with it, that’s not entirely the truth.
While car batteries can have an enormous capacity compared to your iPhone, they need to be charged too, which is what the alternator does. Your alternator translates mechanical energy into the potential energy that’s stored in your battery via a spinning pulley. This energy makes sure your battery is always full and always has the energy to start your car and run your nav, heater, stereo and the like.
Without a working alternator, you’re going to have a dead battery and a stalled car, which no one wants. Luckily, there are some telltale ways to spot a failing alternator.
Symptoms of A Bad Alternator
The one you really need to look out for is dim lights – not just your headlights at night, but your dash lights and nav lights. Pay attention at night and see if your lights are dim. If they are, do they flicker? Flickering lights are one of the telltale signs that your alternator is about to bite it.
Once you see your lights either dimming or flickering, accelerate a little bit and pay attention to if the light brightens. If it brightens at higher acceleration, I would personally recommend that you take your car into a mechanic if possible, because that’s about as sure of a sign as you’re going to get. But it’s not the only one.
Check Engine Light
A check engine light could be a number of things, but when your alternator decides to go, it can flash your battery light or your check engine light.
Inside of your alternator, there are a number of internal gears and bearings. As these wear out with age, they can cause a grinding sound that sounds like grain being milled.
Try your power seats or mirrors. If they are slow to operate – or stop working entirely, there’s an issue with your electrical system which may have a root cause with a busted alternator.
If your engine stalls when driving, there’s a good chance you have an alternator issue. Your engine sucks up and enormous amount of power, and without the alternator charging your battery is can quickly suck the life out of it.
As previously mentioned, your engine sucks power out of your battery faster than I suck down a Chick-Fil-A Cookies & Cream milkshake. Without a working alternator, this can tank your battery really quick.
If you’re seeing any of these symptoms or a combination of these, take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible. Don’t ignore an alternator repair – because if you do, it’s only a matter of time until your car strands you because of it.
Does Your Extended Warranty Cover Your Alternator?
As previously mentioned, all of our vehicle service contracts here at Protect My Car – even our lowest cost plan – cover your alternator. To make it a little bit easier on you though, we’ve gone ahead and covered the other largest extended warranty providers other than us.
But, as a general rule, most extended warranty plans should cover your alternator if you have at least mid-level coverage or higher.
Protect My Car
Plans that cover your alternator: Driveline, Select, Supreme
Direct Warranty Provider: Yes
Notes: Driveline, our lowest cost policy, also covers expensive parts of your car like the engine, transmission, air conditioning, and your fuel system.
Plans that cover your alternator: Select Premier, Secure Plus, Superior, Supreme
Direct Warranty Provider: Yes
Notes: While most plans cover the Alternator for Endurance, their lowest priced policy (Secure) does not cover the alternator. Only their high mileage vehicle protection and more premium plans cover an alternator repair.
Plans that cover your alternator: American Auto Shield Enhanced Power Train, American Auto Shield Comprehensive, American Auto Shield New Car
Direct Warranty Provider: No
Notes: Car Shield doesn’t sell policies it administrates itself. Instead, the policies it sells are administrated by another company, which is, in this case, American Auto Shield. Car Shield also does not offer alternator coverage in its lowest-priced plan, the American Auto Shield Power Train.
Plans that cover your alternator: American Auto Shield Powertrain Plus, CARCHEX Care By Royal, Royal Administration Services Centennial, Allegiance Silver, Allegiance Select Elite, American Auto Shield Deluxe, CARCHEX Care By Royal Gold, Royal Administration Services Preferred, Allegiance Gold, American Auto Shield Platinum, CARCHEX Care By Royal, Royal Administration Services Premium, Allegiance Platinum, CARCHEX Care By AAS Titanium Plus, CARCHEX Care by AAS Titanium, American Auto Shield Diamond, CARCHEX Care By Royal Titanium, Royal Administration Services Ultimate, Allegiance Ultimate.
Direct warranty provider: No
Notes: Carchex’s lowest-cost plans don’t cover the alternator. Carchex also does not sell its own policies. It instead sells the policies of Allegiance, Royal Administration Services, and American Auto Shield.
Your manufacturer’s warranty may also cover your alternator. The 3 year, 30,000-mile warranty on most new cars will definitely cover it, while the 5 year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty may cover it, if they count the electrical system as part of the engine.
What Is A Direct Warranty Provider?
So you’re probably wondering what the direct warranty provider bit is above. It’s an important distinction that is worth talking about.
A direct warranty provider is a warranty company that administrates and services its own claims, legally speaking. What that means, is when a direct warranty provider sells you an extended warranty, they are responsible for paying your claims, as well as handling any customer service issues that arise.
Direct providers can offer lower prices for their plans and better customer service because everything is handled in house.
Currently, only Protect My Car and Endurance are direct warranty providers.
Other extended warranty companies aren’t selling their own plans. When you buy a policy with them, they then transfer the responsibility for your future claims to a 3rd party finance company. They get paid, and then that finance company that you didn’t choose becomes the legal entity responsible for paying your claims.
This can be a huge hassle. Claims take longer to get paid, and we’ve seen prices that are more expensive.
That’s not to mention that the 3rd party finance company has no connection to you as a human being and has every financial incentive to pay as little as possible on your claim.
With over 13 years in this business, everyone will tell you that choosing a direct warranty provider is the best way to go. You’ll avoid getting a run around from claims agents, and instead will get help from a real person who wants to see you off smiling.
Want To Get The Best Extended Warranty For Your Alternator? Choose Protect My Car & Save
While the alternator is covered with most extended warranty companies, Protect My Car is far from “any” extended warranty company. Our lowest-cost plan, the Driveline covers more than the basic coverage you’ll get from other extended warranty companies, including your alternator, and important bits like your air conditioning, windshield washer pump, and starter.
Best of all, we’re able to do this at a lower price than our competitors because we’re a direct warranty provider.
As a proud direct warranty provider, you’ll never be mistreated when you join us. There’s a reason our average review score (TrustPilot, Consumer Affairs, BBB) is a 4.3/5.0, and I want you to find out why.
We know there are a number of other great extended warranty companies out there, we know we’re the best and we want to prove it to you.
That’s why, for a limited time, we’re giving away $50 dollars in rewards just for getting a quote with us. From there, you’ll be able to shop all of our different plans, online, with no phone call needed. You can even buy the driveline in less than 5 minutes and have your alternator covered and ready to go.
Because we’re a direct warranty provider, you may find that our plans are significantly cheaper than what you’re paying right now.
So don’t wait, get your free quote today and claim your $50 dollars in free rewards. You’ll be one step closer to not having to shell out hundreds for an expensive alternator repair ever again.