What Will My Car Do if the Alternator Is Going Bad?

Your car will have one or more of the following problems if the alternator is going bad. Generally, the alternator lasts over 100,000 miles. Meadows Automotive can replace your alternator if it needs it. Here are signs that it is no longer able to produce the voltage it normally does.

Accessory Problems

The alternator provides power to your vehicle’s accessories so they operate as they should. One sign that the alternator is unable to produce the needed power is problems with your accessories. For example, you may find that your power seats no longer move or your radio won’t turn on.

Battery Warning Light

You may also end up with a battery warning light on the dashboard if the alternator is going bad. In older automobiles, the warning light spells out ALT or GEN. if any of these lights turn on, bring your vehicle to our shop right away.

Hard Starts/Dead Battery

Aside from powering the accessories, the alternator also keeps the battery charged. Consequently, if it is malfunctioning, you may end up with a dead battery and an inability to start your automobile. The battery will not hold a charge after you jump-start it either.

Hot Electricity Odors

The alternator should never produce more than 14.5 volts. A malfunctioning alternator may produce more than that and overload your vehicle’s electrical system. Consequently, you will smell hot electricity odors coming from the engine. Don’t drive your automobile if you smell anything hot.

Stalling Problems

The alternator also provides power to the spark plugs so they can generate sparks in the combustion chamber. If the alternator is dying, it may be unable to power all of the spark plugs and your engine will misfire. Severe misfiring can make the engine stall.

Strange Engine Sounds

If you hear growling or grinding sounds coming from the engine, it’s possible that the alternator is wearing out internally. If you hear whining or squealing noises coming from the engine, the alternator belt may be too loose. We can replace the alternator or tighten the belt.

Vehicle Light Trouble

Finally, you will have problems with your vehicle’s interior and exterior lights if the alternator is going bad because it provides power to them, as well. The lights may be too bright, they may flicker, or they may be too dim.

Call or stop by Meadows Automotive in Waterford Township, MI, today if your car, truck, or utility vehicle is having any of the problems discussed above.

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