Could the Problem Be in Your Car’s Alternator?

Your car relies on the alternator to keep it powered up as the engine runs, so if the alternator is having issues that causes problems elsewhere. Here are some tips from SpringMasters Auto Repair to help you to spot issues with your car’s alternator.

Your Car’s Lights Are Dimmer Everywhere

It’s a given that when your car’s lights are dim, both the interior and the exterior lights, that there’s something wrong somewhere in the electrical system. Figuring out where can be the tricky part, of course. The big thing to remember is that if your lights don’t seem as bright as they usually are, you’re probably not imagining that and that is definitely something that you need to get inspected as soon as possible.

You’re Having Battery Trouble

Battery issues can go hand in hand with alternator trouble, but sometimes it’s easy to just stop at the battery. In reality, if you’re having battery trouble, there’s almost always something going on with the alternator itself and the battery is just making that problem obvious for you. If you’ve had to get your car jumpstarted, make sure that you get both the battery and the alternator checked.

There’s an ALT or Battery Warning Light

If you’re seeing a warning light on the dashboard about your battery or alternator, that’s a big sign that there’s definitely an issue. Some manufacturers use a warning light that looks like a picture of a battery, even if the problem is with the alternator or elsewhere in the electrical system. Sometimes what you’ll see is a light that says ALT or GEN. Double-check your owner’s manual for more details.

You’ve Got Weird Sounds or Smells Coming from Under the Hood

It might seem weird, but there could be odd sounds or smells under the hood that can clue you in to electrical issues or alternator problems, too. For instance, if you smell something that smells like hot wiring, don’t ignore that. Also, when an alternator is under heavy load, with lights, radio, and air conditioning on full blast, you shouldn’t hear anything unexpected. If there’s an issue, however, you might hear the alternator straining as you add more to its load.

Don’t take chances with your car’s alternator. If you suspect that there are issues with your car’s alternator, give us a call at SpringMasters Auto Repair in Stickney, IL. We’ll inspect the entire electrical system and determine what’s going on so we can recommend the right repairs.

Photo by meodif from Getty Images via Canva Pro

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