Many of us assume that our battery is dead when our car doesn’t start. However, the alternator plays a key role in the running of your vehicle’s electrical systems, and in the replenishing of power to your battery. If your alternator is giving you trouble, you might have experienced one or many of these four signs of alternator issues. Read on and see if it’s time to schedule your service appointment!
4 Signs of a Failing Alternator
Flashing Dashboard Warning
Many of the newer cars out there will flash a warning light that says ALT (alternator) or GEN (generator) if your alternator is experiencing issues. This will most likely pop up when you’re using multiple electrical components at the same time. Just because it doesn’t come on every time you drive, it doesn’t mean you don’t have an alternator issue.
Hesitating or Not Starting
If your car isn’t starting, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a new battery. Your alternator is supposed to recharge your battery after it starts your vehicle, and if the alternator isn’t working properly, your vehicle will either have a very weak start, or won’t turn over at all. To check this, charge your battery and then try to start your car. No start with a full battery means alternator issues.
Strange Sounds and Smells
Inside the alternator, there are bearings and belts involved that can wear out. If you start to smell burning rubbed or hear a grinding and whining sound, it is worth your time to take a look under the hood for loose belts or to see if anything is worn out. Not sure where to look? Let us take a peek for you.
Since your alternator works to power all the vehicle’s electrical systems, a pretty reliable sign for alternator issues is dimmer lights inside and outside your vehicle. Whether it’s your dashboard or headlights, dimming means an alternator issue. It might also affect your power windows and seats, so try those out to see if you can feel a decrease in power.