Common Symptoms of a Bad Alternator


The alternator does the critical job of charging up the battery and powering your vehicle's electrical system. A failing alternator can cause the battery's power reserve to become depleted to the point that you're unable to get moving. When you first notice a symptom of alternator trouble, you'll want to be proactive about taking care of it. Here's a look at seven signs of alternator failure.

Dead Battery

Generally, car batteries should last for three to five years. If yours dies earlier than this timeframe, then a bad alternator could be to blame---unless you left your lights on!

Dashboard Indication

If a light turns on that reads ALT or GEN, then there's a strong chance that an alternator problem is present. Some vehicles have this warning light in the shape of a little battery.

Belt Issue

If you pop the hood and do a quick visual inspection of your alternator and see that a belt is too loose, too tight, or cracked, then you may have identified the reason for your alternator trouble.

Electrical Accessory Problems

In newer cars, the computers are often programmed to determine which electrical accessories should get powered down first when an alternator isn't working like it should. In doing so, power is prioritized for the most important electrical functions. If, for example, your power windows are malfunctioning, this could be why.

Issues with Headlights

A healthy alternator helps to ensure that your headlights work properly. A failing alternator can cause headlights to act erratically, with lights flickering or dimming. This could pose a significant safety concern at night when trying to navigate roads that aren't brightened by streetlights.

Burning Smell

Alternator drive belts endure significant stress as they do their job. When they eventually start to wear down, they sometimes emit a burning odor.

Stalling Out

Your vehicle is liable to stall out if the alternator isn't providing enough power to your spark plugs.

If you need auto repair, be sure to bring your vehicle to a reputable shop. For alternator replacement & electrical system repair in Everett, Mukilteo, Lynwood, Mill Creek, Tulalip, and Marysville, WA, contact the experts at ONB Automotive at (425) 317-9618. Feel free to give ONB Automotive a call today to schedule an appointment for any of your vehicle's repair or maintenance needs!


O.N.B. Automotive Blog
Posted: December 11, 2020

Written and Published By MORBiZ



8 Signs of Engine Trouble
Simple Tips for Safe Winter Driving
Common Symptoms of a Bad Alternator
7 Maintenance Tasks to Prepare Your Car for Winter
What are Common Signs of a Suspension Problem?
Expert Auto Repair in Everett, WA
Helpful Tips for Boosting MPGs
Common Automotive Problems that Cause No-Start
What are common symptoms of brake trouble?
What is Transmission Service?
Does My Car Need a Wheel Alignment?
Car Trouble that Stinks!
What does it mean to be a dealership alternative
5 Repairs You Should Never Put Off
What is Scheduled Auto Maintenance?
Auto Maintenance to Prepare your Car for Winter
How can I tell which type of automotive fluid is leaking?
9 Issues to Check When Buying a Used Car
Top Signs of an Exhaust Leak
Does My Car Need Transmission Service?
Most Common Auto Electric Problems
Customer Reviews of ONB Automotive Repair in Everett, WA
No Gas: Common Fuel System Failures
4 Symptoms of Suspension Failure
General Signs of it is Time for Auto Repair
The Importance of the Oil Change
5 Symptoms of a Failed Cooling System
Top Signs it is Time for an Engine Rebuild
Does this Mean I Need Brake Repair? Yes!
Tips for PNW Winter Driving: We're Not Out of the Weather Yet!
Do I Need to Replace the Alternator?
Understanding Commercial Fleet Vehicle Maintenance
What does that Light Mean? Common Dashboard Warning Lights
Simple Auto Maintenance to Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter
Is it Time for Engine Repair? 4 Signs that Say Yes
How do I know if My Car has an Exhaust Leak?
Get the Most out of Your Gas Tank this Summer
Common Signs your Vehicle Needs Transmission Repair
Time for new shocks or struts? Here is how to tell!
What is a Tune Up and When Do I Need One?
How to use your senses to detect car trouble
What's Leaking From My Car?
If this Happens it is Time for Clutch Repair
3 Signs Your Vehicle Needs Exhaust Repair
What is Preventative Auto Maintenance & Why is it Important?
Is it time to set up a fleet vehicle maintenance plan?
Does my Car Need Cooling System Repair?
5 Common Signs You Need Ignition Repair
Help! I Need AC Repair to Beat the Heat
5 Major Signs Your Car Needs an Alignment
5 Must Know Symptoms of Brake Trouble
Hard Starts: 4 Signs of Starter Failure
5 Smells that Mean Trouble for Your Car
Is it Time for Timing Belt Replacement?
3 Common Signs of Major Engine Trouble
Squealing Brakes and 4 Other Signs of Trouble
5 Tips to Improve Fuel Efficiency this Winter
Why are Oil Changes so Important?
4 Common Reasons the Check Engine Light Comes On
Common Auto Electric Problems
4 Reasons for Transmission Failure
Top 4 Basic Home Auto Maintenance Tips
When is it Time for Suspension Repair?
Brake Service, Care and Maintenance
Proper Radiator Maintenance and Care
5 Signs that Your Car Needs a Tune-Up
The Importance of 30/60/90K Factory Maintenance