What’s the Difference Between a Brushless and a Brushed Alternator?

Alternators are known for their generally short life span, especially on older model trucks. The reason is because most of those older ones come with an original brushed alternator. They have a lot of moving parts that function in sync with each other, thus having more parts that can malfunction and create long, complicated repairs.

On these older alternators, dust collects on the brushes over time and increasingly causes more problems to the internal components. With newer technology, there is now what is called a brushless alternator. By eliminating a dozen moving parts, the chances of something breaking goes down dramatically. These new alternators transfer current using an air-gap, increasing efficiency and lowering repair frequency, times and costs.

Because the brush is the “moving part” that most commonly breaks in your standard alternators, it is almost guaranteed that you’ll be replacing it sooner rather than later. By eliminating that possibility, you create more space in the alternator itself, which not only helps prevent damage, but also allows for the other components to create more power. That means your alternator will be charging your battery easier and with more power than before – a difference you’ll be able to spot quickly in any truck.

As with any new technology, it costs more than the older technology. However, just by eliminating the need for constant replacement and repairs, you are getting your money’s worth almost immediately. Add on the extra power and features that they provide, and the decision is truly a no-brainer. It all depends on your specific situation though, as it may not be beneficial to put a new brushless alternator on an old truck with a short life-span remaining. Bring your rig to J&M and have us inspect it to let you know exactly what you stand to gain from each style of alternator!

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