If your vehicle is experiencing charging problems, it is likely the alternator, but first eliminate other possibilities such as a loose or broken alternator belt or a blown fuse. Alternators, just like any other mechanical component on your vehicle, can fail due to use and age. The carbon brushes and bearing inside the alternator will wear out over time and cause failure. Excessive heat under the hood, a weak battery, or a heavy amperage load from lights, blower motor, etc. can lead to earlier failure. These put extra strain on the alternator, and will shorten its life.