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A Faulty Alternator Can Cause the Following Problems

The original alternator in your automobile will last seven to 10 years. In some cases, the alternator may last longer than 10 years if you take good care of your car, truck, or C/SUV. Midwest Auto Care & Transmission Center can replace your alternator when it needs it. The following problems are signs that your vehicle’s alternator is going bad.

An Illuminated Battery or ALT Light

Your automobile’s dashboard is equipped with a battery light and it may be equipped with an ALT light. If either of these lights turns on unexpectedly, they are relaying to you that there is a problem with the electrical system. The most common problems are a faulty alternator or a dying battery.

An Overheating Electrical System

Generally, a vehicle’s alternator generates anywhere from 13 volts to 14.5 volts of electricity. It should never generate more than this, but if the alternator is malfunctioning, it might. When this happens, it overheats your vehicle’s electrical system and you will smell burning wires as a result.

Changes in the Lights’ Brightness

Another sign that the alternator is going bad is if there are changes in the brightness of your vehicle’s lights. If the alternator is producing extra voltage, your vehicle’s lights will be brighter than normal. In most cases, however, the lights will be dimmer than normal and may flicker.

Difficult Starts and/or a Dead Battery

The alternator does more than generate electricity; it also charges the battery. If it has been difficult lately to start your automobile, this can be a sign that the alternator is malfunctioning. If your battery is dead or dying frequently, the alternator may no longer be able to keep it charged.

Grinding, Growling, or Whining Sounds

You may hear grinding, growling, or whining sounds coming from the engine if the alternator is malfunctioning. The two former sounds come from the alternator’s internal mechanisms if they are grinding against each other. The latter sound comes from a loose alternator belt.

Malfunctioning or Slow Accessories

The alternator also helps to provide power to your vehicle’s power accessories. Consequently, if the alternator is malfunctioning, you may have problems with the accessories. For example, your navigation system may fail to work or your entertainment system may turn off by itself.

Problems With the Engine Stalling

Finally, the alternator provides power to the engine’s spark plugs so they can fire up the air and fuel in the combustion chamber. If the alternator is malfunctioning, your engine may stall frequently because the plugs are not being powered properly.

Call Midwest Auto Care & Transmission Center in Lake Station, IN, if your vehicle is having any of the problems listed above.