If you tried to turn your car on this morning, but all you got were a series of loud clicks, perhaps you are convinced it is a dead battery. However, it could also be your alternator, which is more likely the case if your car battery is still fairly new. If you suspect that your alternator is in trouble, your first step is to take a closer look to see if you can detect any signs a failing alternator.
Continue reading to learn the top 6 most evident signs that an alternator needs to be repaired or replaced.
An alternator is an important automotive parts because it is the energy base for the entire vehicle. Alternators basically provide the necessary electricity to all the various electrically-controlled components in a vehicle. It supplies the energy to start the engine, charge the battery, and power up all other electrical components.
Over time, parts of the alternator can begin to tarnish or wear down. Things like brushes, rotors, and other internal parts must be replaced periodically. It is best to refer to your car’s owners’ manual for factory recommended instructions for alternator maintenance. In the meantime, it is wise to learn how your car will tell you the alternator has gone bad.
Usually, they do this by demonstrating these 6 signs:
➀ Dead Battery
As mentioned, one of the most common signs of a failing alternator is a dead battery, which is another reason why a failing alternator is misinterpreted as a car battery problem so often. When an alternator is malfunctioning, the battery must use a lot of extra energy, which quickly depletes its power.
➁ Check Engine Light
When the check engine light comes on, it could mean a lot of different things. For this reason, you must have your vehicle diagnostically tested by a professional to determine the exact cause. However, a failing alternator is a possible reason why a check engine light might illuminate.
➂ Engine Stalls
If your engine is stalling on your every time you try to drive your vehicle from one destination to another, you may very well have an alternator problem on your hands. As mentioned, alternators supply the energy needed to start engines and keep them running.
➃ Dimmed Lights
Do your interior and exterior lights seem less bright than they normally do? Headlights, ceiling lights, stereo lights, and dashboards lights are all powered by the energy your alternator supplies. So when the alternator is malfunctioning, the lights are usually one of the first components to be affected.
➄ Electrical Malfunctions
As with dimmed lights, additional electrical malfunctions are often an indication of alternator issues. Things like power seats, power windows, GPS, stereo, radio, and screen displays can begin to have problems, or stop working entirely.
➅ Strange Sounds
As with most internal automotive problems, strange noises are usually a common red flag. When your car does not sound like it usually does, both while it’s in idle and when it’s running, it could be a sign that your alternator needs to be repaired.