The alternator plays a vital role in the electrical systems within your vehicle. It turns the energy from within the crankshaft into electricity that your car needs to power the battery and other essential parts of the electrical system. In ideal conditions, the alternator can last 7-10 years. If the alternator does begin to wear, various other electrical components also start to fail. While the alternator can fail randomly, some drivers notice minor vehicle issues happening overtime.
If you suspect your alternator is beginning to fail, below are five common symptoms that indicate a problem is on the rise:
• Battery Indicator Light
The battery light will illuminate on the dashboard or the letters ALT if the alternator is giving out. This can alert you that there are electrical issues that need your attention.
• The Battery is Weak
If the alternator can’t charge the battery, the battery will be weak and inconsistent. One way to test whether the culprit is the alternator or the battery that needs replacing is to jumpstart your vehicle when you’re noticing battery issues. If you jumpstart your car and the battery continues to run for several minutes before dying, the battery is the problem. If, after you jumpstart the vehicle, the battery dies immediately after the alternator is the problem.
• Flickering Headlight
The alternator provides power to the headlights. If the alternator is damaged, the headlights will flicker or dim.
• Burning Smell
Your alternator doesn’t work alone; it uses a series of belts to help power it. If the belts fail to turn, hot friction can develop, releasing a distinctive odor of burnt rubber. A loose alternator belt will not fix itself and will need to either be tightened or thoroughly inspected by a professional automotive technician.
• Grinding Sound
The alternator doesn’t just have belts helping it; it has a rotor, bearing, stator, and other essential components that spin to create energy. If either of these parts fails, they may produce a grinding sound. Some drivers report these failing parts may even make a whining sound.
If you notice any of the above unusual signs, don’t hesitate to reach out to University Chevron. We specialize in alternator repair and work with all vehicle make and models. We’ve been serving the Fairbanks community since 1977 and are the trusted dealership alternative. If you need quality of service at an affordable cost, click here to schedule an appointment or give us a call at 866-833-7317.