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

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