Alternator Generates Energy to Feed the Electricity System
From dash lights flashing briefly, headlights dimming, not to mention odd smells and growling sounds – these may all hint at possible alternator problems. An alternator not only provides power to the vehicle’s electrical system, computer, and electrical accessories, it also keeps the battery charged. Precisely because of this, it is of utmost importance to ensure that your alternator functions properly.
Here at AutoEdge, our technicians can perform a health check on your vehicle to see if the reason your battery is dead is due to a faulty alternator or poor connection somewhere in the system. A bad alternator could leave you stuck, so it's best to have it inspected by a professional.
How will you know if it starts to malfunction? Below are some of the symptoms of a faulty alternator and if caught it time can ensure no trouble driving your vehicle. If left undiagnosed, you could find yourself on the 417 with a dead vehicle and at the mercy of the tow truck drivers.
Dimming headlights and/or dashboard lights or pulsating headlights at night (dim & bright) indicates a potential alternator failure and it can cause other electronic accessories (power windows, seats etc.) to operate slower than usual.
In the early stages of alternator problems, the light can seem to flicker for just a second and then go off again; it may even light up only when accessories are activated.
Weak or dead battery
Starting issues? Windows powering down in slow motion? When an alternator begins to fail or fails outright, the vehicle’s battery has to take up the slack. Even the best battery will eventually run down, leaving you stranded.
Many different parts spin inside your vehicle’s alternator to produce an electrical current. If one of these parts wear out or break, this could cause a grinding or whining noise. If the bushings that the alternator is mounted on have gone bad, the noise will also be produced.
An alternator works in conjunction with a system of belts. If a belt is not turning freely, the excess friction could cause the belt to heat up which produces a burning rubber smell. An overheated alternator that push too much power through the rotor and stator may also cause this smell.
Visual cues (belts)
If you experience electrical problems, and the alternator seems fine, then the problem could be with one of the belts connected to the alternator. Have a look, a broken or loose belt is obvious. A quick visual check of the belt for cracking, excessive wear, and other age issues, you have preventative results.
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