Flickering or dim lights can be a sign of alternator trouble. Your vehicle relies on the alternator to produce voltage. This part also ensures that the battery stays charged while you are driving your automobile. If the interior and exterior lights are flickering or dim, this is an indication that you need to have the alternator replaced. Fairfax Auto Repair advises that the alternator can last as long as 10 years or 150,000 miles. Here are other indications that your alternator is dying.
The alternator also powers your vehicle’s accessories, such as the power windows and seats. If these parts are acting up, or if you are having problems with your entertainment system or navigation system, it’s possible that the alternator is going bad and is the reason behind these issues.
The alternator generally produces 13.5 to 14 volts. When it starts to go bad, it may work too hard to produce the voltage. When this happens, it produces too much voltage and it overheats your vehicle’s electrical wiring. You may smell burning rubber or plastic as a result.
Dead Battery/Hard Starts
As we mentioned above, the alternator keeps the battery charged. If you are having difficulty starting your automobile, it’s possible that the battery is draining too much due to a faulty alternator. If the battery dies completely, this, too, can be caused by the alternator.
Another accessory that the alternator powers is your spark plugs. If the alternator is not sending enough power to the plugs, they may misfire, and, as a consequence, you may end up with frequent stalling. Unfortunately, your vehicle will continue to stall until you get the alternator replaced.
If the alternator’s internal mechanisms are wearing down, it will make growling noises as it tries to produce voltage. If the alternator belt is too loose, you will hear whining sounds coming from the engine. Any strange sound indicates trouble that should be looked into as soon as possible.
Finally, the alternator may send an error code to the engine control module and you will end up with the dashboard warning light. In newer automobiles, this warning light is a battery-shaped light. You may also see an illuminated ALT or GEN light if you drive an older automobile.
Call Fairfax Auto Repair in Fairfax, VA, today if you suspect your vehicle’s alternator is going bad. We can test the alternator and the battery to determine where the electrical problem stems from and then we’ll repair it.