Last week the alternator went out in our van while were passing through a less-than-desirable part of town. Nothing scary, but it was a long process that took an entire afternoon to get it towed to the mechanic. I'm wondering if it could have been prevented in some way.
We try to be judicious about car maintenance: we take our car in for regular oil changes/inspections according to the manual's schedule. We check the tire pressure monthly. However, this alternator was apparently dying and we didn't realize it until it was completely dead.
I've looked at videos that describe how to check an alternator using a volt meter. They're presmised on a suspicion of a problem with the alternator: flickering lights, difficulty starting, etc. In my case (as far as I can tell), we had no warning that it was about to die.
So, I'm wondering if there is a recommended interval for checking the alternator with a voltmeter even when there is no suspicion of a problem?