In our last blog post, we talked about a dying battery; now, let’s talk about the alternator. This device is responsible for powering your vehicle’s electrical systems, such as your entertainment system, as well as keeping the battery charged while your car, truck, or SUV runs. If you notice any of the following six signs, we here at ER Auto Care will test yours to make sure it isn’t the problem.
If your device cannot produce the voltage it should, you will notice your vehicle lights dim. This includes the interior lights such as the overhead lamps and dashboard lights. You may also notice less response in your power seats and windows if the alternator is dying.
You either have a battery-shaped, ALT, or GEN dashboard warning light and it will illuminate if there is an electrical problem with your vehicle. This could include the battery or alternator, so don’t ignore the warning light. Bring your vehicle in for an electrical systems check.
If your alternator can no longer power the battery when your vehicle is running, the battery will die. It is part of your car battery’s charging system, so if the alternator is dead, your car won’t start, even after a jump and charge. This is a sign the alternator isn’t recycling the battery’s power.
A burning smell from underneath the hood is a sign of numerous problems, one of which is the alternator. The alternator belts generate friction to produce electricity and if they aren’t operating as they should be, they will overheat and you smell burning rubber under your hood.
Spinning parts inside the alternator also help produce the electrical current your vehicle’s electrical systems need to run. Problems with these parts can produce grinds or whines. Alternator bearing and bushings, in particular, make noise as they wear down.
If you do suspect yours is dying, pop your hood and start your car, truck, or SUV. Take a look at the belts while the engine is running. If you notice they look loose, bring your vehicle in so we can tighten them. Inspect them with the motor off, too, to see if they’re worn.
Feel better letting the professionals inspect your vehicle? Call ER Auto Care in Plain City, OH. We’ll visually inspect the part and also test its voltage to ensure it’s just fine.