What Does Your Alternator Do?
Cars have many complex parts that most vehicle owners don’t fully understand. One of those parts is your alternator. The alternator in your vehicle has one of the most important jobs, that’s keeping your battery charged. Your vehicle’s alternator also puts in a bit of extra electrical power, that allows all of the electrical systems in your car to run properly and efficiently. If your vehicle didn’t have an alternator, your battery would almost instantly drain, and your car would stop working. This means you could be put in a difficult situation where you can’t start your car, run your car, or drive it.
Now that we’ve discussed what your alternator does and the importance of it in your vehicle, lets discuss 5 signs that you need a new alternator.
Five Signs You Need a New Alternator
- Your car has difficulty starting.
- Your car has dimmed accessory lights.
- Your car battery keeps dying.
- You keep smelling burnt rubber.
- You keep hearing a grinding or whining noise.
Below we are going to go more in depth of the five signs we just discussed. Thankfully, most vehicle owners are very aware of these problems, so it is relatively easy to know if it is your alternator. However, not all of these signs can distinctly be your alternator. For example, if your car has difficulty starting, it isn’t completely obvious that it is your alternator, but instead, could potentially be mistaken for a dying battery or starter. Fortunately, this list will help identify other signs that you may notice to help you be more confident that it is your alternator. While you may not notice all of these signs, you typically will notice more than just one.
- Difficulty Starting
If you notice that your vehicle is having issues getting started, and usually just turns before it actually starts, it is very possible that your alternator is wearing.
- Dimmed Accessory Lights
If you start up your car or truck and notice that any of the lights on your dashboard (including, dash lights, dome light, headlights, and radio) become a bit dimmer than usual, it could be a sign that your alternator isn’t able to properly run as efficiently as it used to. The dimming that occurs can also occur when pressing on the accelerator and even dim or brighten multiple times, almost as if they were slowly blinking.
- Dead Batteries
If you discover that your battery isn’t staying charged as long as it used to, keeps dying, or isn’t able to start your car more increasingly, it’s definitely worth checking to see if the problem could be your alternator. If you have had your battery tested from a provider and it passed, it is even more important for you to check if it is your alternator. This happens when your alternator is not able to fully recharge your battery, and it is vital that you try and catch this problem as early as possible. If your vehicle is at the point where it needs a jump start more than three to four times a week, it could potentially completely destroy your battery. If that happens, you will not only have to replace your alternator, but your battery as well (and potentially even a starter.)
- Burnt-Rubber Smell
This is common sign, however, is not as common as some of the other signs we are discussing with you today. If your alternator is unable to freely rotate on the pulleys, it begins to create friction, which causes the belt to get hot, and if it reaches a high enough temperature, it can emit the smell of burnt rubber.
- Grinding or Whining Noise
If you begin noticing a whining like or grinding like noise, that roughly comes from your alternator, it could be another sign that there is a problem.
Here are a few additional signs:
- Dashboard alternator warning or indicator light
- High-pitched squealing noise (from the belt)
- Dimmed headlights (consistently)
- Low voltage output
Agape Auto Service prides ourselves on having the most qualified technicians to work on your vehicle while also using the top quality equipment and products. Agape Auto Services uses BG Products to protect you, your family, and your vehicle. If you’re experiencing any issues with your fuel system or engine or would just like a routine inspection of your vehicle to prevent any issues, give us a call today or click here to make an appointment.
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- Fast – same day service, always our goal.
- Honest – do only the work necessary.
- Professional – ASE Certified Master Technicians.
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- Extended Warranty Work – encouraged and accepted.
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