These 6 Car Malfunctions Point to the Alternator

There usually isn’t a lot of talk about alternators when it comes to automotive maintenance and repair. Yet, you simply cannot operate your vehicle without a properly functioning alternator. But how do you know if your alternator is having problems? There are certain signs to look for; 6 car malfunctions, specifically.

If your car or truck is showing one or more of these malfunctions, it could indicate that your ride needs alternator repair.

Alternator Repair Indianapolis Indiana 317-475-1846
Alternator Repair Indianapolis Indiana 317-475-1846

What Does an Alternator Do?

The alternator in your vehicle plays a vital role in its overall operation and performance. Basically, the alternator supplies your vehicle with electricity. This electricity is used to power all sorts of mechanical systems and electronics within your car, including the head and taillights, interior cabin lights, heating and cooling, onboard computer systems, GPS systems, stereo, radio, dashboard operating systems, and much more. Without a properly functioning alternator, you will start to notice problems with one or more of these systems within your vehicle. This is how you can look out for the signs of alternator problems.

Oftentimes, people confuse alternator problems with car battery problems because they both supply vehicles with power. However, the alternator is responsible for charging the car battery. So, if you are experiencing electricity-related problems in your vehicle, check your car battery first. If your car battery checks out, you can safely assume your alternator needs a turn in the repair shop.

Common Signs of a Malfunctioning Car Alternator

➀ Electrical Problems

As mentioned, if you start to notice problems with any of the electrical or computerized systems within your vehicle, you might want to assume that it’s the alternator. But first, always check on the car battery to be sure.

➁ Dead Battery

If your car battery checks out in the moment, but then later fails on you, and then continues to do this over and over again, your alternator could be the underlying culprit. If you find that your jump starting your car on a regular basis or your car keeps dying while out on the road, you may need to replace alternator.

➂ Dimming Lights

Because alternators supply vehicles with a source of power, one of the first indications of alternator malfunction is dimming lights. Headlights, taillights, and interior cabin lights can appear dimmer or weak, and may even flicker. If you notice this in your vehicle, it is important to have your car battery and alternator checked out right away.

➃ Strange Noises

A common problem with alternators actually stems from a loose serpentine belt. If the serpentine belt is stretched out, which commonly happens with age, it can lose its ability to spin the alternator pulley effectively.

If you hear squealing sounds coming from your car when you started it, it could be an indication that your serpentine belt is defective and has alternator to lose charge. If you hear grinding sounds or growling noises, it can be an indication that your internal bearings have corroded or deteriorated.

➄ Illuminated Warning Lights on the Dash

If you see any warning lights on your dashboard light up, such as your “ALT” light, battery light, or your Check Engine Light, you might want to take a look at the alternator. This is especially true if you get both the battery light and the check engine light on at the same time. If you just get the car battery light, check your battery to see if it still has charge. If it is not your car battery, take it into the shop to have alternator checked out.

➅ Engine Stalling

If your engine is repeatedly stalling when you start or drive your vehicle, it is a telltale indication of an alternator malfunction. The fuel injectors are simply not getting the power they need to fuel the engine and keep it going. This situation typically leads back to the alternator.

Are you looking for a trusted Indy auto shop that can repair your alternator at a price you can afford? Contact Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for engine repair and scheduled car maintenance in Indianapolis, Indiana you can afford. We also offer auto service coupons and discounts!

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Top 4 Reasons Why Your Car Won’t Start

So, you get into your car, already late for whatever it is you are on your way to, but the engine won’t seem to turn over. Although there are millions of things that can go wrong in vehicles, there are 4 in particular that tend to be the most common culprits. Fortunately, they can all be repaired, and some only take a few minutes of your own time to fix!

Continue below to learn why your car will not start, and what how to determine exactly what the issue might be.

Indianapolis Auto Repair and Service 317-475-1846
Indianapolis Auto Repair and Service 317-475-1846

Your Car Will Not Start? Here’s What Might Be the Problem:

Your vehicle is designed with various electrical and mechanical systems that can breakdown or experience interruptions in performance. However, when your car won’t start, or the engine refuses to turn over, you can likely chalk it up to 4 essential auto parts: the alternator, battery, starter, or fuel tank. Of course, it can also be a combination of breakdowns and failures, including among these four car parts. Here is some information that will help you determine what and why for each one:

Alternator

If your alternator is faulty, or is breaking down, you can expect your car to have problems starting. It is common to experience issues with the battery and starter when your car’s alternator is bad, making it more challenging to detect the underlying issue without a licensed mechanic providing the diagnosis. In fact, the signs of a failing alternator are very similar to a dying car battery, including electrical flickering and dimming lights. If your alternator is bad, you will need alternator replacement.  

Battery

A dead or nearly dead car battery is a common cause behind a car that won’t start. You can try to use jumper cables to re-power your car’s battery; but if that doesn’t work, it is likely that you need a whole new battery. Fortunately, car batteries are not expensive, and they are easy to maintain for many years. If your car battery is new, you might be dealing with a failing starter instead.

Starter

As just mentioned, if your car won’t start and it is definitely not a dead battery, it could be a broken starter. Starters are designed to receive electrical currents from the battery and convert them into larger energy in order to power the engine. If it is failing, it cannot do its job, therefore, your car will not start. If your car is making no sounds or vibrations when you turn the key, it is a common sign that the starter is broken.

Fuel Tank

In the best case scenario is that your fuel tank is empty. In fact, the most common reason why people’s cars will not start is simply because they are out of gasoline! Check your fuel tank regularly, and be sure to keep some extra fuel at your home in case you need an emergency top-off to get you to the nearest gas station. In a worse scenario, your car could have a leak or crack in the fuel tank, which will require immediate auto repair.

Are you having problems starting your car? Contact Northeast Auto Service at 317-475-1846 for auto repair and scheduled car maintenance in Indianapolis, Indiana you can afford. We work on both domestic and foreign vehicles, and specialize in major engine work. Request a free estimate, today.

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Indianapolis Auto Repair and Service
Indianapolis Auto Repair and Service 317-475-1846