What Are the Warning Signs of An Alternator Problem?
In previous years, before 1960, cars were using DC dynamo generators with a variety of communicators to charge its batteries. Today, vehicles use alternators to maintain a charged battery to power its electrical systems. Batteries die. It happens to the best of us. It is not uncommon for batteries to give out on their own, but sometimes a failing alternator causes the battery to drain or malfunction. Look for these warning signs to determine if your alternator is failing or experiencing other issues.
1. A Warning Light Illuminates
Vehicles manufactured within the last ten years possess a malfunction or warning light. This light is in the shape of a car battery and located on your car's dashboard under the gear indicator and the anti-lock brake system (ABS) icon. When the battery icon illuminates, this is a sign your car's computer system detects an issue with the alternator.
2. Dim or Low-Powered Lighting
When you open your car doors, you notice your car's interior lights come on, radiating the entire inside of your vehicle. If your alternator is failing or experiencing issues, the inside lights will come on but will appear dim. Everything that draws electricity from your car, including backlit displays and similar features, will perform at a lesser quality, and your interior and exterior lights may flicker from time to time.
3. A Dying or Dead Battery
If you have a battery that is dead or dying, you will have difficulty starting your car. Starting your car may result in a ticking or clicking noise before your car finally cranks. Your car may not start at all. If your vehicle doesn't start, the culprit is often a dead battery, but a further look into the problem could reveal a faulty alternator is draining the battery.
4. Broken or Loose Belts
Broken or loose belts can cause your alternator to malfunction due to the belts hanging off the engine block or missing belts. These auto issues do not have warning indicators, but a quick look under your hood could give you the answers you need.
5. Weird or Strange Noises
Specific signs of alternator failure are not always clearly visible, but whining and growling noises provide more information about the current condition of your vehicle. Incorrect belt alignment or work out bearings and bushing can cause growling and whining sounds.
Is your alternator causing issues with your vehicle? We are here to help. Here at Hotz Automotive Inc., we offer high-quality auto repair, including services for your car battery, tires, exhaust, batteries, etc. If you're looking for car service in Fairview Heights, IL, Hotz Automotive Inc., has over 23 years of auto repair and car service experience. We are ready to help get you back on the road. Contact us today to learn more about our auto services and how we can help you.