From Slow Starts to a Dead Car: 5 Signs of Alternator Problems

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Car problems often start small, but when ignored can lead to emergency situations that are both stressful and costly.
First, you may notice a dash light coming on for a split second, or your gauge light may start to flicker. Then you may start to hear a weird sound coming from your engine.
And although at first, these issues may not affect your ability to drive, they are likely signs that you have alternator problems. This component of your car is relatively simple but it is responsible for supplying your vehicle with power, so without it working properly, your car won't run.
Want to learn more? Keep reading for 5 signs of alternator problems.

1. Dimming Lights

The alternator plays a crucial role in the electrical system of your vehicle and works to provide power to both your starter and electrical accessories. If your alternator is going bad you may start to notice that your headlights or dashboard lights start to seem a little dim.
You may also notice that your windows roll down more slowly than usual, or your power seats are moving quite as quickly. This is one of the first signs that your alternator is beginning to die.

2. Engine Light

Like most car problems, there is likely an indicator light that will pop up on your dashboard letting you know that your alternator isn't running its best. This light commonly looks like a battery or say ALT.
If you notice a light like this has appeared on your dash, then you should take your car in to get checked out.

3. Odd Noises

Whenever you hear an odd noise coming from your car, this should cause concern. Because the alternator is made up of many moving parts if any of those parts wear out you will begin to hear a noise.
In this case, a bad alternator can start to make irregular noises that sound like rattling or whining. This noise is often caused by worn out bearing within the alternator.

4. Dead Battery

Although batteries can die on their own after long term use or because of a light that's left on, sometimes a dead battery is an indication that the alternator simply isn't charging it. If your battery is in good shape and you experience this problem, it's likely caused by your alternator going bad.
Even if your car is able to start by being jumped off if the alternator isn't working it won't be able to recharge the battery. So the next time you go to start your car you will likely experience the same issue.

5. Bad Belt

If you begin to notice some of these issues, it could be that the belts connected to the alternator have gone bad and that the alternator itself is fine. A loose or broken belt will prevent the alternator from running correctly.
If you are comfortable with your car's engine, take a look at the belt on your alternator. If you notice that it is cracking or loose, this can be a sign that it will soon need replacing.

Taking Care Of Alternator Problems

Alternator problems, just like any car problem, can be inherently stressful situations. The sooner you notice the problem, the sooner you can get it fixed and avoid being in a situation where your car won't start.
Keep these signs in mind and don't hesitate to contact us if you begin experiencing any of these issues!
B&M Auto Repair and Towing is proud to offer mechanic services to the Collegeville, Phoenixville, and Oak PA areas. We fix brakes, provide towing services, and everything in between, so contact us at (484) 358-6784 and let B&M Auto be your auto service and repair partner.

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