Your car won’t start and you are not sure why. In fact, when it comes to your vehicle not starting there are a number of reasons that may be causing the issue. From a dying or dead battery to loose or corroded connection cables, issues with the starter, or a bad alternator, any of these problems can prevent your vehicle from turning over. Determining the cause of your auto repair issues is the first step in getting back on the road. Working with an experienced and trustworthy auto repair expert can help you to quickly diagnose your vehicle issues along with paying attention to other key signs warning signs that something is wrong.
What Are The Signs of A Bad Alternator?
Other than needing to replace your battery or connection cables, a bad alternator is likely the culprit as to why your car, truck, or SUV won’t start. In fact, your dead or dying battery could be due to a bad alternator. Your alternator is an essential part of your vehicle’s engine and is what keeps your battery charged. So what are the signs of a bad alternator? There are many telltale signs your alternator may be failing and need to be replaced.
A lot of times a dead battery is just a dead battery. It has reached its lifespan and simply needs replacement. But… it can also be one of the warning signs there’s an issue with your alternator. A bad alternator will not sufficiently charge your car battery while your vehicle is running. This depletes the charge faster than usual leaving you with a car that won’t start or just won’t stay running. If you jump your battery and it dies shortly after this could mean that your alternator isn’t getting enough of a charge to your battery.
Clicking Noise/ Dying Out While Driving
If all you hear is a clicking noise when you try to turn your key in the ignition or your vehicle is constantly dying out while driving, this generally means there is not enough power getting to your spark plugs from the alternator.
Your windows may be taking longer to function when going up or down. Your speedometer and other instruments go a little haywire or your vehicle’s lights being either too dim or too bright can all be signs of a bad alternator. Why? Your alternator should be providing consistent voltage to your vehicle’s electronic equipment. When your alternator is bad there is no consistent voltage or power supply being sent to this equipment.
Let’s face it if you ever hear a growling or whining sign coming from your vehicle it is not a good sign! These noises could be due to a number of vehicle repair issues but a lot of times they are also the sign of a bad alternator. These noises can happen when the belt that turns the alternator’s pulley becomes misaligned or rubs against the side of the pulley. And you may also hear this sound if the bearings that spin the rotor shaft are going bad.
Should you suspect you may be having issues due to a bad alternator it is best to have your vehicle inspected by a certified auto mechanic. Not only is it inconvenient if your vehicle won’t hold a charge it can also be dangerous in certain driving conditions. While most modern vehicles are programmed with a priority list of equipment to let your vehicle’s onboard computer know where to cut power first if your alternator has issues, it is best not to rely solely on that. Should you ignore any of the above signs you may contribute to the issue and require more costly repairs!