Before we get into everything else, first you have to know what an alternator is. We can explain in detail, but let's leave mechanical talk to the specialists at the shop. Here is a simple explanation. When your engine is working, one or more pulleys are connected to it. These pulleys transfer mechanical energy using belts or chains to the surrounding components that need it. One of the main ones is the alternator. It converts mechanical energy to electricity, charging the battery. This is the main supply of electricity the battery gets, and if it fails, curtain signs occur - here are some of them, so you know when to go to the repair shop to save up on future headaches.
1. Battery Light Turns On
The main reason for your car's battery light to come on is not a bad charge, but a faulty alternator. When there is no energy going in and a lot going out, the result is a loss of charge. This happens when the alternator doesn't charge the battery. It can be caused by a lot of things, so make sure to visit a local repair shop and have it checked out.
2. Problems Starting
When you turn the ignition on or press the start button, your car's ignition activates and starts the combustion process. If there is no charge left in the battery, it's probably due to the alternator. Another thing you can experience is a sudden shutdown, which is also related to insufficient electrical supply.
3. Interior And Exterior Lights Are Dim
This is a very obvious sign of electrical, battery, and alternator problems. Having issues with the lighting can be dangerous, especially if it affects important things like the headlights and gauge cluster. Visiting a repair shop is strongly advised to make sure your safety is at its highest.
4. Electrical Problems
Another obvious sign is a general electric problem. From buttons malfunctioning to the radio/infotainment system flickering. All of them point to electrical and alternator issues. It's not advisable to play around with electricity around your car, so leave it to the pros and visit a repair shop.
5. Strange Whining Noise
Most of the time, your alternator is connected to the engine with a chain or belt. Both of them can get lost or worn out, resulting in strange sounds resembling loud whining. It's common for belts and chains to need replacements in a certain mile range, so make sure to check the owner's manual.
If you have spotted any of the signs listed above, Dickerson Automotive is here to help! Make sure to visit our shop if you are experiencing any car-related problems, and we will take care of them!