February 2013 Issue
Alternator Repairs: Plane Power Tops
If your charging system quits, troubleshooting will save bucks. If its the alternator, overhaul is usually best, but there are good new ones on the market.
When pilots talk about problems with their airplanes, alternators tend not to be a subject of the conversations. Thats because alternators are pretty reliable, which is a good thing because most of our airplanes have just one and they are run to failure items. However, when an alternator does fail, an owner is suddenly thrust into a confusing world of original equipment replacements, upgrades, overhauls, new manufacturer replacements, core credits, repairs and prices that can vary by 400 percent. Well explain what an alternator does, why its important to troubleshoot electrical system glitches before buying replacement parts and what your options are if your alternator truly has slipped its mortal coil.
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