Can a Car Alternator Get Wet? Here Is What You Need To Know


Many car owners debate whether or not car alternators can get wet. It can be quite confusing because alternators generate electricity and we know that electricity doesn’t go well with water. So, it is time to put these debates to an end.

I went around the city and talked to a few mechanics. Here is what I was told about alternators and water.

Can a Car Alternator Get Wet?

Can a Car Alternator Get Wet Here Is What You Need To Know

Alternators generate the electricity that powers the engine, lights, and other accessories. The alternator is located at the front of the engine, and it consists of a pulley, an armature, and a stator. Many car owners, especially car detailers wonder if a car alternator can get wet.

Alternators can get wet with water and it won’t be any issues. However, it can be quite an issue if you are detailing the engine bay and you spray degreaser on the alternator. Most alternators are designed to last between 80,000 and 100,000 miles. But, the seals that cover the bearings can pop off prematurely. So, when you spray a degreaser, you are actually spraying it directly on the bearings and causing the alternator to prematurely fail.

So, how do you know if it’s safe to get the alternator wet? Well, before detailing the engine bay, you will need to inspect the alternator. You will need to look at the front of the alternator, more specifically at the front housing where the pulley is up against the housing. When the alternator pulley starts to go bad, you will start to see some metal shavings around that part. If you look closer, you may even notice some brown dust that’s on the front of the alternator housing.

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If you see that the alternator is going bad, getting it wet with water or a degreaser can cause the alternator to prematurely fail, or you can short it out. So, to put it in perspective: You can get a car alternator wet with water only if the alternator is in working condition (has the cover of the bearings and has no visible damage). If the alternator is showing signs that it is going bad, getting it wet will only cause it to break down faster.

Is The Alternator Water-Resistant?

Can a Car Alternator Get Wet Here Is What You Need To Know

The alternator is a key component of any vehicle. It provides the power necessary to run the engine and operate electrical systems. As a result, it’s important to keep the alternator in good working order. Many drivers are curious about whether the alternator is water-resistant, and unfortunately, the answer is not clear-cut.

While some alternators are designed to be water-resistant, others are not. Furthermore, even water-resistant alternators may not be able to withstand fording deep bodies of water or driving through a car wash.

Alternators are designed to be water-resistant so that they can be used in a variety of environments. The materials used in their construction and the sealing around the electrical components make them resistant to water damage. Most alternators are also equipped with a waterproof cover that helps to protect the internal components from moisture.

In addition, the bearings in an alternator are lubricated with a water-resistant grease that helps to keep the alternator running smoothly even in wet conditions. As a result, alternators are able to withstand exposure to a wide range of weather conditions and are an essential component of many types of vehicles.

However, keep in mind that older alternators might not be so much water-resistant. What I mean is that older alternators might have damaged housing. Some even might have exposed bearings. If an older alternator gets in contact with water, it might get damaged.

Can You Clean An Alternator With Water?

Alternators are an important part of any car, providing the power necessary to run electrical components like the headlights, radio, and windshield wipers. Over time, however, alternators can become dirty and clogged, reducing their efficiency. Many car owners wonder whether it is possible to clean an alternator with water.

Yes. You can clean an alternator with distilled water but first, be sure to turn off the vehicle and disconnect the battery. Also, it is super important that you do not point a pressure washer directly into the alternator because you can damage the wiring. Instead, use a pre-soaked soft brush or a sponge to clean the alternator. Do not use any degreaser, just distilled water.

I mentioned that you can clean the alternator with distilled water and not regular water. The reason behind this is that distilled water has a low content of dissolved salts. Since there are metal parts on the alternator, regular water can cause corrosion whereas distilled water has a very low corrosion effect on metallic materials.

With these guidelines in mind, cleaning an alternator with water is a relatively simple task that can help to prolong the life of your car.

I Got Water On My Alternator Will It Be Fine Once It Dries Off?

If you’ve got water on your alternator, you may be wondering if it’s going to be okay once it dries off. The good news is that, in most cases, the answer is yes.

Alternators are designed to withstand exposure to moisture, so a little bit of water is not likely to cause any serious damage. I would be more worried about the corrosion that could occur down the road on the metal parts of the alternator from the water.

The alternator is a vital component of any car engine. Its main purpose is to generate electricity to power the car’s electrical system. The alternator is powered by the engine, and it uses a series of magnets to create an electrical current. This current is then used to charge the car’s battery and to power the car’s lights, radio, and other accessories. Without an alternator, a car would not be able to run for very long.

Alternators are designed to work even if they get in contact with water. However, if the alternator is completely submerged in water, or if it stays wet for an extended period of time, then there is a risk of corrosion and electrical shorts.

If you are just detailing your engine bay and you got the car alternator wet, make sure to keep the hood open so that the alternator can dry completely. You can also tap it with a clean towel to soak in any excess water.

How Do You Dry Out a Wet Alternator?

One of the most common car maintenance problems is a wet alternator. An alternator is a vital component of a car’s electrical system. It can be easily damaged by exposure to moisture. There are two ways to dry out a wet alternator. One of them requires the knowledge to take apart an alternator while the other is more basic. I will explain both techniques to dry a wet alternator.

The most effective, but a bit harder way to dry out a wet alternator is to take it off. First, remove the alternator from the car and disassemble it. Next, clean all of the parts with a cloth or brush. Once the parts are clean, you can use a hairdryer or heat gun to carefully dry them off.

Be sure to keep the heat low, as too much heat can damage the alternator. Finally, reassemble the alternator and install it back in the car.

If you do not possess the knowledge to disassemble an alternator, you can do the following.

Turn off the vehicle and disconnect the car battery. This way, you will know that there is no electrical power to the alternator. Then, grab a clean towel and try to tap the alternator to soak in the excess water. Next, you can grab a soft brush and put a cloth over it to try and get the water out from inside the alternator. If it’s sunny, you can leave the hood open and let it sit like that all day long.

A wet alternator is not a big problem. It is the effect of the water or the degreaser that got the alternator wet in the first place. Water can cause the alternator to corrode, while a degreaser can get into the wiring and cause damage.

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Hi there. I am a certified Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) mechanic since 2018 and a car detailer for 10 years.

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