Six Signs Your Car’s Alternator Is Going Bad

If you cannot get your vehicle started, it might be the alternator instead of the battery. The two work in tandem to produce the electricity your vehicle and its accessories need to run. In fact, the alternator is what keeps the battery charged; otherwise, the battery will drain and die as you drive. Integrity Auto Repair can replace your alternator if it’s going bad. Here are six signs that it is.

Low Lights

Alternator trouble reveals itself in your automobile’s lights. Your exterior and interior lights will dim as the alternator struggles to produce power. Most drivers notice the problem in their headlights and dashboard lights, as they rely on these the most when they’re driving at night.

Dead Battery

As we mentioned above, the alternator keeps the battery charged. It generates voltage to keep charging the battery while it’s discharging. Consequently, if the alternator is not producing voltage, the battery will discharge completely and die because nothing is keeping it charged.

Hot Smells

The alternator uses a series of belts to create the friction that generates voltage. If the belts are loose or their motion is impeded in any way, they will overheat and you will smell it. Usually, the odor smells like burning rubber and this, too, can affect the power the machine generates.

Strange Noises

The alternator’s internal parts can also alert you to trouble. The parts will wear down over time and you might hear them complaining, so to speak. Worn parts will grind or whine as they try to stay in motion. Specifically, you’re listening to the bearings and bushings.

Component Trouble

The alternator is the heart of your vehicle’s electrical system, pumping voltage into the system. If it’s going bad, your components might respond. Your radio or GPS might turn off on their own, or you might get frustrated because your power windows and seats are so slow suddenly.

Warning Light

Finally, a problem with the alternator or battery will usually generate a warning light. Depending on the lights you have on your vehicle’s dashboard, a problem will cause the main computer to turn on the ALT, GEN, or battery-shaped light to let you know something’s wrong.

Integrity Auto Repair is located in Eugene, OR, and we can test and replace your alternator or battery. We can also replace the starter if that’s why your car, truck, or UV won’t start. Call us to set up an appointment. We’ll find the problem quickly and fix it.

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