3 Signs Of An Alternator Problem

Your alternator keeps your car battery charging while you are on the move. If your battery has died, it will put some juice back into it once you get your car started. Having it in full working order is essential.

The question is – how do you know when your alternator isn't working properly? Here are three signs to have the alternator checked by a mechanic.

1. The Electrics Turning On and Off

Are you dealing with intermittent electricity failure? You may have a radio that keeps turning on and off or headlights that keep dimming so you cannot see anything. These are signs that your battery is not charged enough to keep everything going. Your vehicle will pull power from the radio, headlights, or any other electric component to make sure it can continue to operate. If the electronics on your vehicle appear to have a mind of their own, you may have an alternator problem.

2. The Alternator Light Shows

Another common sign is that the alternator light on the dashboard turns on. Unfortunately, the alternator warning light does not usually switch on until the alternator has gotten really bad – and is likely causing other problems around the vehicle. For this reason, you should never wait for the light to come on to know you have a problem. More importantly, you need to stop driving the vehicle and have it checked by a mechanic when the light comes on.

Keep in mind, the alternator warning light could be coming on for other reasons as well. For example, the light could be trying to tell you the fan belt needs to be replaced.  Furthermore, not all vehicles come with alternator warning lights. Some only have a battery light.

3. The Car Struggles to Start

Remember, this part of the car is powering the battery. If it has a problem and the battery is not getting any charge, you may find that it is a struggle to get the car started. In most cases, you will be able to hear the vehicle trying to turn over if the alternator is the problem. If the vehicle does not even sound like it is trying to turn over, it could be a problem with the battery instead. The battery could need replacing or it could just be completely out of power.

If the electronics in the vehicle appear to be failing, the battery seems to lose power for no reason, or the alternator warning light comes on, you really need to have your vehicle checked by a mechanic. The last thing you want to happen is to drive somewhere, turn your vehicle off, and come back out to find yourself stuck because the dead battery is preventing the vehicle from turning back on. For more information, contact a business such as Ball Tire & Automotive.