Signs of a Failing Alternator

Posted on Jul 29, 2020

Master Tech Repair

Is it Time to Replace Your Alternator?

The electrical system in your car can be complex, and power many of the different features that you use every time you drive. Your alternator plays a big role in this process, and once it starts to fail, there is a good chance that many of the features in your car that use electricity will start to fail as well. 

After your battery starts the car, it is the alternator's responsibility to generate energy that can be used for powering the electrical system, as well as recharge your battery. Don't make the mistake of waiting until your alternator completely fails. Let's explore some warning signs that it may be time to get your alternator replaced.

Headlights Not As Bright or Even Flickering

You can see an example of this just by using a flashlight. Once the batteries start to get old, the light will dim or sometimes flicker. Replace the batteries and the light shines as bright as ever. It is a similar story for your car, except once the car is started, it is the alternator's responsibility to provide energy to the headlights. If the alternator is beginning to fail, you should be able to see the headlights acting strangely as the power to them lessens or fluctuates. 

ALT Indicator Light

Some vehicles are equipped with an ALT indicator light. This is your vehicle's way of letting you know there is an issue with the way your alternator is generating power. Other vehicles may alert you to this issue by simply having the check engine light turn on. Anytime there is a warning light engaged on your dashboard, make sure to get it checked by your local mechanic as soon as possible. 

Vehicle Randomly Stalls

There are several reasons for a car to stall. However, this one is pretty easy to recognize. You may start your vehicle and drive for several minutes without noticing any problems. You will eventually come to a stop, and have your car simply "power-down", completely stalling and turning off your engine. You may even have trouble getting the car to start after this stall, and notice that many of the electrical systems in the car have stopped working as well (interior and dashboard lights, etc.). This is a sure-fire sign that your alternator is not replenishing power to the battery and needs to be addressed right away. 

Alternator Making Strange Noises

The alternator itself operates as a miniature engine. Some alternator failures can cause different components of the alternator to become loose, creating strange rattling noises to come from the part itself. If you can identify that it is indeed the alternator that is making noise, you will need to get it replaced right away. 

Random Electrical Issues

Electrical issues can be caused by several different things, but they can also serve as a warning sign that there is an underlying alternator issue. Don't simply brush off electrical issues as being a small isolated problem. Make sure to have electrical issues looked at by a professional mechanic so you can get a proper diagnosis. 

If you have noticed any of these issues listed above on your vehicle, contact Master Tech Auto Repair in Santa Fe, NM for your alternator repair needs. Our mechanics are all ASE Certified master technicians and will have the answers you are looking for. You will not find a more talented group of auto repair professionals serving the Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico communities. We pride ourselves on our outstanding customer service and quality work. Contact us today and review our warranty policy for more information.




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