6 signs indicating your alternator failure

04/09/2018

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If the alternator fails to function, it entails an array of electrical problems.

The alternator in your car is one of the essential parts without which the car cannot perform properly. The job of an alternator is to preserve the battery’s power while the car use power from the battery to generate lights and any other electrical systems. Therefore, if the alternator fails to function, it will be a real headache for the driver.

Let’s check out 6 signs telling your alternator is maybe running into problems.

1. Fainted lights

The alternator works to give power to the ignition, starter and electric accessories. A weak alternator provides less power to these needed parts including light systems which will become fainted when the alternator becomes weak.

The dimming light of a car

A weak alternator provides less power to the needed parts including light systems

2. Warning light

Most today's car models have an alternator warning light on the dashboard which informs you that your alternator needs checking. Bear in mind that the warning light may be ALT or GEN signs or have a shape of a battery.

The warning lights on a car dashboard

Bear in mind that the warning light may be ALT or GEN signs or have a shape of a battery

3. Weak or dead battery

As said above, the alternator works to charge, then restore your battery’s power, so when your car battery is low, the alternator can't help.

To figure out if the problem is in the battery or the alternator, charge your battery and start your car.

  • In case of a weak or, unfortunately, dead battery, your car can still run but the lights, afterward, become fainted, which means there is some problem with the charging.

>>> Also read: Signs of a dead car battery

  • On contrary, even with the full battery, the car still struggles to start, then the problem lies in the alternator.

4. Rubber-burnt smell

The alternator works with lots of belts in the car systems. When a belt fails and make unnecessary friction, it is heated up and a smell of rubber burning will be a sign telling you it’s time to check your alternator.

alternator belts

A smell of rubber burning will be a sign telling you it’s time to check your alternator

5. Crunching sounds

There are plenty of parts spinning inside the alternator. When one of these fails, there comes a crunching noise.

The sources of noise may come from the worn-out bearings or the failed bushings.

6. Visual inspection 

Sometimes the alternator may be fine but the problem is in the belt. In this case, you do a to visual inspection and look for a worn, cracked, too loose or too tight belt.

Video: Bad battery or bad alternator, how to tell the difference
If your car reveals any symptom we have listed above, ask for help and advice of your car specialist.

>>> Click here to discover more maintenance tips and advice on Naijauto.com

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