Several precautions must be observed with alternator equipped vehicles to avoid damaging the unit. They are as follows:
- If the battery is removed or disconnected for any reason, make sure that it is reconnected with the correct polarity. Reversing the battery connections may result in damage to the one-way rectifiers.
- When utilizing a booster battery as a starting aid, always connect it as follows: positive to positive, and negative (booster battery) to a good ground on the engine of the car being started.
- Never use a fast charger as a booster to start a car with an alternator.
- When servicing the battery with a fast charger, always disconnect the car battery cables.
- Never attempt to polarize an alternator.
- Never apply more than 12 volts when attempting to jump start the vehicle.
- Do not short across or ground any of the terminals on the alternator.
- Never disconnect the alternator or the battery with the engine running.
- Always disconnect the battery terminals when performing any service on the electrical system.
- Disconnect the battery ground cable if arc welding (such as body repair) is to be done on any part of the car.
Noise from an alternator may be caused by a loose drive pulley, a loose belt, loose mounting bolts, worn or dirty bearings or worn internal parts. A high frequency whine that is heard at high engine speed or full alternator output is acceptable and should not be considered a sign of alternator failure.