Your car's alternator may not be the first thing you think about when your car won't start. For example, a vehicle won't start with a dead battery. However, a dead battery could mean your car's alternator will finally quit working. The good news is that when you know what your car's alternator does for your car, you'll better understand what to look for when your car starts acting strange or won't start.
A typical gas-powered vehicle uses an electrical system to run things like headlights and power windows, to name just a few. The car battery will power everything, like when you first turn the key, and the radio comes on. If you stop turning the key and leave the radio on, the battery will die, even quicker if you turn the headlights on.
When you start the car the alternator takes the electricity from the battery and starts generating an electrical current that keeps the car's lights, radios, and other things running. At the same time, the alternator charges the battery back to full strength. If the alternator doesn't work, it can't be recharged. A dead battery could mean a dead alternator, especially if you've paid attention to the signs.
Signs Your Alternator Could Be Failing
- The Battery light stays on: Don't ignore the battery light. The car's charging system isn't working right if it stays on while driving. A dead alternator isn't always the problem, but it's always a sign something's wrong.
- Dimming lights and lagging wipers: The alternator keeps a car's battery at its maximum potential power output. If the battery isn't recharging properly, everything that runs on electricity will be influenced.
- Burnt Rubber and Whining: A car's alternator is bolted to the engine, and the internal parts must turn while the engine is running. A pulley on the alternator and the engine along with a rubber belt turns the internal parts in the alternator. A faulty alternator might whine because of worn bearings and the belt not working properly.
If you need alternator repair, we invite you to bring your vehicle to Auto Pro today!