A Dead Battery Can Be Caused By a Dying Alternator

You probably already know this, but the alternator keeps the battery charged. As the battery discharges, the alternator generates voltage and sends it over to the battery. Consequently, if you have a dead battery, the problem might not be the battery. Rather, Del Hatt Automotive advises that the problem could be an alternator that is unable to keep the battery charged. Here are other signs that your alternator is going bad.

ALT, GEN, or Battery Light

Depending on the age of your automobile, one of the lights in the subhead will turn on if the alternator is dying. Newer cars have a battery-shaped light. Older cars have an ALT or GEN light. Either way, if one of these lights illuminate on your dashboard, it is telling you that there is a problem with the electrical system. This problem could be the alternator.

Burning Wires or Rubber

Normally, the alternator generates anywhere from 13 volts to 14.5 volts. As the alternator begins to lose its life, it will work extra hard to generate voltage. As a consequence, it might actually generate too much voltage and overload your vehicle’s electrical system. You will smell burning wires or rubber.

Frequent Engine Stalling

The alternator charges the spark plugs so they ignite the air and fuel in the combustion chamber. If the alternator is unable to provide the spark plugs with the power that they need to perform their job, they will misfire and your engine will stall frequently. This is an alternator problem and not a spark plug problem.

Growling or Whining Sounds

Growling noises coming from your engine could indicate worn gears inside the alternator. As these gears grind together, you will hear the growling noise. If the alternator belt is too loose, it will make a whining or squealing sound. This, too, can affect how well the alternator produces power.

Malfunctioning Accessories

Aside from the spark plugs, the alternator also powers accessories. This includes your USB chargers, your entertainment system, your navigation system, and the power seats and windows. If any of these accessories start to malfunction, you might have an alternator problem.

Overly Bright or Dim Lights

Finally, if the alternator is producing too much power, your lights will be too bright. If the alternator isn’t producing enough power, the lights will be too dim. They may also flicker to indicate an unsteady stream of power coming from the alternator.

Call Del Hatt Automotive in Poughkeepsie, NY, today if you suspect your alternator is going bad. If it is, we will replace it.

Photo by joebelanger from Getty Images Pro via Canva Pro

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