Inside every vehicle are hundreds of smaller components and machines, all working in tandem to power the vehicle. It’s a complicated and efficient system, and sometimes those pieces fail. These failures can even happen in your Toyota Tacoma. One piece that can fail is the alternator. Continue reading to learn some tips for buying a Toyota Tacoma alternator for your truck!
What Is an Alternator?
To understand the proper way to buy an alternator, you have to know what an alternator is. An alternator powers the many different electronic parts of a vehicle. It shares this responsibility with the battery—the battery powers electronics while the engine is off, but the alternator powers everything when the engine is on. It uses the engine’s gas as its energy source and pumps power to everything electrical in the car, even sending additional power to the battery. If your alternator is having issues, you may notice the following signs:
- Difficulty starting your truck
- Dim lights on the dashboard
- Needing to recharge your battery
- Slow-moving electrical accessories
If you have any of these issues, your alternator may be the problem. However, don’t jump to conclusions. Instead, consider taking your truck to a mechanic to determine if the issue lies with the alternator or something else.
Which One Is Right for You?
After determining that the alternator is the issue, you must find the right replacement. You may think you just need to buy one at the auto shop and have it installed, but each make and model of car has different alternator specifications. To find the right alternator for your Tacoma, you’ll need to find your alternator’s OEM part number. You can generally find this number with your vehicle’s year, make, and model, but this may not always be the case. If you cannot find this number, you can call a dealership with your VIN and ask them to provide the OEM part number, or you can find the number on the alternator itself.
Finding the Alternator
After getting the number, you will need to get the part and install it. Depending on the year of your vehicle, you may encounter some issues. The older your truck is, the less likely it is that the OEM has the necessary parts readily available or available for a reasonable price. Thankfully, in instances like these, you can often find aftermarket parts that fulfill the same purpose as the OEM part. Aftermarket parts should work the same, but you should still check with your manufacturer to see if using an aftermarket part will void your vehicle’s warranty.
Keep these tips for buying a Toyota Tacoma alternator in mind whenever you have a malfunctioning Tacoma. It’s frustrating when things don’t work perfectly, but with a little time and research, you can get your Tacoma the alternator it needs to get back on the road! If you’re struggling to find the right alternator, come to Northwest Team Yota! We have all the aftermarket and OEM Toyota Tacoma parts you could ever need to fix your truck up and make it good as new again!