If you drive a car, truck, or utility vehicle that is 10 years old or older, you may need to replace the alternator. Primary Care Auto Repair advises that the average lifespan of the factory-installed alternator is 10 years. We are going to list the signs that your alternator is going bad below. Bring your vehicle to our shop if you notice any of them.
1. Accessory Problems
Your vehicle’s power accessories may slow down or malfunction if the alternator is going bad. This is because the alternator provides power to these accessories. Examples of malfunctions caused by a dying alternator include a radio that turns off by itself and slow power windows.
2. Dashboard Light
You may also receive a warning on your vehicle’s dashboard that the alternator is going out. You may end up with an illuminated battery-shaped light or an ALT light. Older automobiles also have a GEN light that will turn on if the alternator is going bad.
3. Frequent Stalling
Aside from powering your vehicle’s accessories, the alternator also provides power to the spark plugs so they can fire up the air and fuel in the combustion chamber. If your vehicle has started stalling frequently, this is a sign that the alternator is not providing the spark plugs enough power.
4. Hard Starts/Dead Battery
The alternator is also in charge of keeping the battery charged. If it has been difficult to start your automobile lately and you have had to jump-start the battery frequently, this can be a sign that the alternator is going bad or that you need a new battery.
5. Hot Electricity
The maximum voltage and alternator should generate is 14.5 volts. A malfunctioning alternator can generate more voltage than this and overload your vehicle’s electrical system. As a consequence, you will smell hot electricity coming from the engine.
6. Strange Noises
You may also hear strange noises coming from the engine. Specifically, the alternator can make a growling or grinding sound if the internal mechanisms are wearing against each other. You may also hear squealing or whining if there’s a problem with the alternator belt.
7. Vehicle Light Problems
Finally, you will have difficulties with your vehicle’s lights if the alternator is no longer able to power them or if it is generating too much electricity. The lights will be dim or too bright, respectively.
Call Primary Care Auto Repair in Warwick, RI, today if you are having problems with your vehicle’s alternator. We will replace it if necessary.