Your car’s alternator is a pretty simple mechanism that turns the mechanical energy of your engine’s rotating crankshaft into electricity to power your car’s accessories. If your alternator is broken, you can lose your headlight, stereo, or starter function.
Though it’s small, your alternator is important! Without it, you can’t start your car to drive on our Sacramento roads, or light the curves at nighttime. Look for the following five signs your car needs alternator repair so you can stay up and running.
One obvious sign you need alternator repair is if a warning light comes on. While a lot of car owners automatically assume there’s a battery problem if an “ALT” or “GEN” light comes on, most likely it is the alternator as the alternator powers the battery.
The alternator supplies the car’s electrical power, so when it’s beginning to fail or is losing its potential, the car’s electrical accessories also start to fail. You might see dim or too bright headlights or dash lights. Your speedometer and tachometer might also stop working. Your power windows, heated seats, or other goodies might start to slow down or completely cease function.
You can sense a failing alternator by three main senses, sight, sound and smell:
- Three S’s
- If you can see a cracks or breaks in the alternator belt, or if it doesn’t have enough tension, you need alternator repair.
- Listen for growling or whining noises as these are often telltale signs of a broken alternator. These sounds indicate that the alternator belt if out of alignment.
- The scent of burning rubber or too-hot wires generally accompanies a broken alternator because of excess belt friction or an overheated mechanism.
- Dead Battery
Your alternator creates the electricity needed to charge your car battery. So, if your battery is dying without explanation or your car won’t start, you might have an alternator problem. Your car battery can supply your car with all the electricity it needs for a period of time, but it will eventually fail as it’s not made to power that much technology. Seek professional alternator repair as soon as you notice battery issues to avoid getting stuck on the side of the road.
- Loose or Broken Connections
This is the most difficult sign of necessary alternator repair to spot, as it doesn’t have any obvious symptoms. Your alternator runs on a series of cables, wires, and connections. If any of these tiny ports is disrupted, broken, or damaged, any electricity the alternator generates won’t make it where it needs to go. Other times, there’s a connection issue and the alternator isn’t making the right kind of electricity or it’s going to the wrong place.
- What to do if You See a Sign
If you see any of the above five signs you need to visit your alternator repair shop in Sacramento and get an alternator repair immediately! Trust a professional Sacramento auto repair business like Standard Auto Care for superior service and quality work.