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Oct 01 2020

SYMPTOMS OF A BAD OR FAILING ALTERNATOR

 

The electric charging system is one of the most important systems on any vehicle. The charging system is made up of several components, including the alternator and the battery, which work together to meet all of the vehicle's electrical needs. The alternator is what specifically generates the amperage and electricity needed to meet the electrical needs of the vehicle, including keeping the battery charged.

Because the alternator plays a vital role in keeping all of the vehicle's electrical components powered, any problem with the alternator can quickly turn into problems with another system or component on the vehicle. Usually, a bad or failing alternator will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential problem, giving the driver time to service the vehicle before a larger problem occurs.

 

1. Having to Start the Vehicle Regularly:

One of the first symptoms of a bad or failing alternator is the need to start the vehicle regularly. It is the battery's job to provide the power to crank the engine and start the vehicle, however, it is the alternator's job to ensure that the battery stays charged. If the alternator starts to have problems or has failed, it will not be able to meet the electrical needs of the vehicle, including keeping the battery fully charged. A low or uncharged battery will not be able to withstand the charge required to start an engine multiple times and will result in a discharged battery.

 

2. Dark Lights:

Another symptom of a potential problem with the alternator is dark or flickering lights. If you notice any kind of flickering or dimming of the lights while using the vehicle, it may indicate that the alternator is not generating enough power to meet the electrical needs of the vehicle. Dimming or flickering may coincide with certain actions while using the vehicle, such as dimming by pressing the accelerator pedal, increasing the volume on the stereo, or turning on another light. This symptom may be a sign of an alternator unable to meet the needs of the vehicle's electrical system while it is operating and when additional loads are placed on it.

 

3. The Battery Light Turns on:

One of the most common symptoms of a problem with the alternator is an illuminated battery light. The battery light typically turns on when the computer detects that the system voltage is below a certain requirement. This usually means that the alternator, or perhaps one of its internal components, has failed and is no longer able to meet the vehicle's electrical requirements, and has been detected by the computer. A lit battery indicator also indicates that the vehicle is now operating with a limited range. Depending on the condition of the battery and how long the battery is on, the vehicle must be able to run for a short time before the battery dies. At this point, the vehicle.

The alternator is among the most important components of a vehicle, as it is primarily used to provide electrical power for the entire vehicle. Any problem with it can quickly result in problems starting and operating the vehicle, which opens up the possibility of getting stuck on the road. If you suspect that your vehicle may have a problem with the alternator, or if it is exhibiting any of the above symptoms, [have the battery and alternator checked carefully] by a professional technician, such as your mechanic. They will be able to determine if an alternator replacement is necessary or if another problem needs to be addressed.




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