Common Signs of a Bad Alternator

How to Tell When You Need Service

When it comes to keeping your car running, the alternator is a critical component. From supplying sufficient power to all of the electrical components within your vehicle, the alternator also recycles the power to ensure everything runs continuously and efficiently. When an alternator fails, it can cause a variety of electrical problems in your vehicle.

Alternators can fail suddenly, as well as gradually break down over time. The good news is that you can often spot a bad alternator’s warning signs and save you money on costly repairs. Below we have detailed a few of the most prominent symptoms of a failing alternator. If your alternator is going bad, bring your vehicle into Total Performance today to have it inspected.

Dashboard Warning Light

Most cars have warning lights located on their dashboard to alert drivers of problems with their vehicles, and the same goes for the alternator. This warning light is typically shaped like a battery and is generally triggered depending on if the alternator is generating a lower output of electricity.

Headlight Trouble

Another common indicator of a failing alternator is having trouble with your headlights. If you notice any flickering, pulsating, or dimmed headlights, this could be an indication that your alternator is beginning to fail.

The Smell of Burning Rubber

With the number of components that an alternator provides power for, a common sign that the alternator is not providing adequate electricity is the smell of burning rubber in your car. This is caused by excess friction, causing belts to heat up due to the alternator not providing enough electricity to allow them to work as intended.

Dead Battery

The alternator is in charge of recharging the battery in your vehicle. If an alternator is starting to fail, it can cause your battery to lose its charge quickly. If you notice your car battery frequently losing charge, it could be due to a failing alternator.

Difficulty Starting

The alternator provides your car with the electrical spark it needs to ignite the gas in the engine. If an alternator is failing, it will have a difficult time supplying enough power to ignite your engine. If you notice a harder time starting your car, your alternator could be the culprit.

If you suspect that your alternator may be failing, schedule an appointment with Total Performance today. Conveniently located in Tacoma, Washington, with over 30 years of experience, we operate our auto repair shop with honesty and dependability to get you back on the road as safely as possible.

Written by Total Performance

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