Symptoms of Bad Alternator

Importance of Alternator

Image result for bad alternator

The alternator is a relatively simple component containing only a few parts, but it plays a critical role in the operation of any gasoline-powered vehicle. Essentially, the alternator turns the mechanical energy of the engine’s rotating crank shaft into electricity through induction. Wires within the alternator cut through a magnetic field; this in turn induces electrical current. That current is used to power your car’s accessories, which can be anything from headlights to the electro-hydraulic lifts on a snow plow. The alternator also keeps the battery fully charged, providing the power it needs to start the car. (Electric vehicles don’t need alternators since they are driven by an electric motor and battery combination that provides plenty of energy for the vehicle’s normal operations. Electric Vehicle’s and hybrids, which do have alternators, often use regenerative braking systems to give the battery an extra boost.)

Because the alternator is connected to (and critical for) other vehicle systems, any mechanical auto problems can have an effect on its function and have an effect on diagnosing car problems.

How does Alternator Works

The alternator is basically how a vehicle seems to have an endless supply of electricity. It takes a lot of juice to start an engine and meet all the various electrical needs of a vehicle. While different battery can have enormous capacities, eventually the headlights, heater, stereo, and infotainment would all drain the battery of power.

An alternator charges the battery while the vehicle is running by turning mechanical energy from a spinning pulley into current. The rotor, brushes, and other internal parts of an alternator wear out over time, so replacing battery is something everyone eventually needs to do. The following symptoms should give you an idea of what’s going wrong in your car.

Most Common Symptoms of Bad Alternator

The following are some of the things that can tell you that your alternator is bad.

Strange Noises

The serpentine belt could have stretched with age and may not be spinning the alternator pulley effectively, leading to a lack of charge. This typically results in a squealing noise. On the other hand, the internal bearings can wear out, causing a growl or grinding noise. Hearing strange noises coming from your engine in conjunction with some of the other symptoms listed could indicate a problem with your alternator. Listen for whining, grinding and rattling sounds as these could all indicate a failing alternator.

Electrical Issues

Electrical vehicle equipment, like power seats or windows, may be slow to operate. Without enough power, sometimes the device will not function or will suddenly stop working, like the radio turning itself off. Read more: Common Mistake That Can Blow Off Car Brain Box

Engine stalling

If the engine suddenly cuts while driving, it could be an alternator issue. Fuel injection needs a good amount of electrical power, and without it the engine quickly stalls.

Dead battery

Without a functioning alternator, the vehicle quickly uses up all of the battery’s capacity or energy stored, leaving it drained. Open the car hood or bonnet and check the battery, and you might think you’ve found the culprit. A fresh battery and a malfunctioning alternator, however, will quickly leave you stranded again.

Difficulty Starting

Your car requires electric spark to start your engine. Therefore, the alternator in your car provides power to the spark plugs that ignite the gas in your engine. If your alternator is beginning to go bad there might not be enough power in your spark plugs to start your car or keep your car running. If you find yourself stalling for seemingly no reason, it could indicate troubles with your alternator.

No Charge

If your alternator has no charge, then it is clear something is drastically wrong with your system. Unfortunately, the reason your alternator is failing to charge could be a variety of issues. We’ve listed a few of general faults that could be causing your alternator to fail to charge below. Please keep in mind that this could be a sign of an overloaded alternator; an overloaded alternator renders the unit useless and you will need to buy a replacement. Loose or Missing Fan Belt, Break in wiring, Blown Fuse, Blown Rectifier Diodes.

Overcharging

If the voltmeter on your vehicle’s dashboard starts to read an overly high voltage then you may have a problem with your alternator. Please keep in mind that it is normal for initial readings to start high and then settle back down. An overcharging alternator may be caused b, Poor Battery Condition and Failed Regulator or Rotor.

Noisy Alternator

The most common cause of a whining alternator is a worn out alternator bearing. This is often due to an over tightened fan belt wearing down the unit. Unfortunately, bearing replacement is a short-term fix and you may be better off replacing the unit entirely. Other issues that may be causing a noisy alternator include Loose or Damaged Fan Belt, Loose pulley and Worn alternator bearing.

Most Common Cause of Alternator Failure

So many alternator fitted into car by Mechanics develop one problem or the other.. So what are mechanics not doing correctly? The problem is inexperience. Well, it all comes down to properly ensuring that the battery is fully charged. If the car battery is not charged, the alternator will fail to handle the vehicle’s electrics and charge the flat battery. This is likely to result in an overloaded alternator. The rectifier will then blow and the unit will be rendered useless. Always ensure the car battery is fully charged before replacing the alternator.

Image result for car computer problems

  1. Computer Problem – Newer vehicles are built with computer systems in them. These systems are what manage virtually every component of the vehicle, including the alternator. If there were to be a problem or glitch with the computer system, it could stop the alternator from charging properly even if it’s a good alternator. Chances are there that it could be the problem. Other issues could also arise from a computer problem too.

Image result for car wiring problem

  1. Wiring Problems – There are lots of wires in the vehicle which deliver power to the alternator. If one of these wires were to become damaged or worn out, then it could cause the alternator to fail at its job and the battery not being charged. If you don’t see any of the problems on this list being present in your vehicle, then check the wiring of the alternator because that may be the reason for the alternator not working.

Image result for car bad fuse

  1.  – Some vehicles use fuses to keep the alternator functional. These fuses blow out after a while or when there is a power surge. In these cases, your alternator would fail and your battery would not charge. If you have a bad alternator, look in the owner’s manual to see if there is a fuse in your car. If so, then see if it is blown.

Importance of Alternator

Image result for bad alternator

The alternator is a relatively simple component containing only a few parts, but it plays a critical role in the operation of any gasoline-powered vehicle. Essentially, the alternator turns the mechanical energy of the engine’s rotating crank shaft into electricity through induction. Wires within the alternator cut through a magnetic field; this in turn induces electrical current. That current is used to power your car’s accessories, which can be anything from headlights to the electro-hydraulic lifts on a snow plow. The alternator also keeps the battery fully charged, providing the power it needs to start the car. (Electric vehicles don’t need alternators since they are driven by an electric motor and battery combination that provides plenty of energy for the vehicle’s normal operations. Electric Vehicle’s and hybrids, which do have alternators, often use regenerative braking systems to give the battery an extra boost.)

Because the alternator is connected to (and critical for) other vehicle systems, any mechanical auto problems can have an effect on its function and have an effect on diagnosing car problems.

How does Alternator Works

The alternator is basically how a vehicle seems to have an endless supply of electricity. It takes a lot of juice to start an engine and meet all the various electrical needs of a vehicle. While different battery can have enormous capacities, eventually the headlights, heater, stereo, and infotainment would all drain the battery of power.

An alternator charges the battery while the vehicle is running by turning mechanical energy from a spinning pulley into current. The rotor, brushes, and other internal parts of an alternator wear out over time, so replacing battery is something everyone eventually needs to do. The following symptoms should give you an idea of what’s going wrong in your car.

Most Common Symptoms of Bad Alternator

The following are some of the things that can tell you that your alternator is bad.

Strange Noises

The serpentine belt could have stretched with age and may not be spinning the alternator pulley effectively, leading to a lack of charge. This typically results in a squealing noise. On the other hand, the internal bearings can wear out, causing a growl or grinding noise. Hearing strange noises coming from your engine in conjunction with some of the other symptoms listed could indicate a problem with your alternator. Listen for whining, grinding and rattling sounds as these could all indicate a failing alternator.

Electrical Issues

Electrical vehicle equipment, like power seats or windows, may be slow to operate. Without enough power, sometimes the device will not function or will suddenly stop working, like the radio turning itself off.

Engine stalling

If the engine suddenly cuts while driving, it could be an alternator issue. Fuel injection needs a good amount of electrical power, and without it the engine quickly stalls.

Dead battery

Without a functioning alternator, the vehicle quickly uses up all of the battery’s capacity or energy stored, leaving it drained. Open the car hood or bonnet and check the battery, and you might think you’ve found the culprit. A fresh battery and a malfunctioning alternator, however, will quickly leave you stranded again.

Difficulty Starting

Your car requires electric spark to start your engine. Therefore, the alternator in your car provides power to the spark plugs that ignite the gas in your engine. If your alternator is beginning to go bad there might not be enough power in your spark plugs to start your car or keep your car running. If you find yourself stalling for seemingly no reason, it could indicate troubles with your alternator.

No Charge

If your alternator has no charge, then it is clear something is drastically wrong with your system. Unfortunately, the reason your alternator is failing to charge could be a variety of issues. We’ve listed a few of general faults that could be causing your alternator to fail to charge below. Please keep in mind that this could be a sign of an overloaded alternator; an overloaded alternator renders the unit useless and you will need to buy a replacement. Loose or Missing Fan Belt, Break in wiring, Blown Fuse, Blown Rectifier Diodes.

Overcharging

If the voltmeter on your vehicle’s dashboard starts to read an overly high voltage then you may have a problem with your alternator. Please keep in mind that it is normal for initial readings to start high and then settle back down. An overcharging alternator may be caused b, Poor Battery Condition and Failed Regulator or Rotor.

Noisy Alternator

The most common cause of a whining alternator is a worn out alternator bearing. This is often due to an over tightened fan belt wearing down the unit. Unfortunately, bearing replacement is a short-term fix and you may be better off replacing the unit entirely. Other issues that may be causing a noisy alternator include Loose or Damaged Fan Belt, Loose pulley and Worn alternator bearing.

Most Common Cause of Alternator Failure

So many alternator fitted into car by Mechanics develop one problem or the other.. So what are mechanics not doing correctly? The problem is inexperience. Well, it all comes down to properly ensuring that the battery is fully charged. If the car battery is not charged, the alternator will fail to handle the vehicle’s electrics and charge the flat battery. This is likely to result in an overloaded alternator. The rectifier will then blow and the unit will be rendered useless. Always ensure the car battery is fully charged before replacing the alternator.

Image result for car computer problems

  1. Computer Problem – Newer vehicles are built with computer systems in them. These systems are what manage virtually every component of the vehicle, including the alternator. If there were to be a problem or glitch with the computer system, it could stop the alternator from charging properly even if it’s a good alternator. Chances are there that it could be the problem. Other issues could also arise from a computer problem too. Read more:Symptoms of Bad Spark Plug

Image result for car wiring problem

  1. Wiring Problems – There are lots of wires in the vehicle which deliver power to the alternator. If one of these wires were to become damaged or worn out, then it could cause the alternator to fail at its job and the battery not being charged. If you don’t see any of the problems on this list being present in your vehicle, then check the wiring of the alternator because that may be the reason for the alternator not working.

Image result for car bad fuse

  1. Bad Fuse – Some vehicles use fuses to keep the alternator functional. These fuses blow out after a while or when there is a power surge. In these cases, your alternator would fail and your battery would not charge. If you have a bad alternator, look in the owner’s manual to see if there is a fuse in your car. If so, then see if it is blown. Read more:10 Basic Car Repairs Everyone Should Know

 

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