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Signs of a Failing Alternator

Brian Bates

An alternator is an electrical component in your vehicle that is necessary for recharging your car battery and providing power to start the engine. There are many moving parts involved to allow the process of starting your car to be smooth. When your alternator fails, you can expect other components to fail too. Below are the common signs of a faulty alternator:


Electrical Failures - Since your alternator is needed to power your electronic accessories in your vehicle, they can stop working out of nowhere when the alternator is troubled. These can include your car radio, windshield wipers, lights, power seating, and more.


Dashboard Warning Light On - When the alternator is at a loss, the electrical warning light may be triggered by your On-Board Diagnostics (OBD). If you notice this light on your dashboard, please come by our auto repair shop to have these components tested.


Weak Battery - Batteries can last up to several years. Without your alternator, your battery can’t hold a charge. That is why when your alternator dies, the battery will soon die after. Therefore, frequent jump starts can indicate an alternator problem. You should come by our shop to have both components tested to be sure. 


Burning Rubber Smell - The alternator is powered by rubber belts. When these belts heat up, they can cause a burnt scent. Sometimes, tightening the belt will help. 


Grinding Noise - All of the components related to your alternator move. If any of them aren't operating properly, they may make a grinding sound.


If you suspect your alternator is failing, you can always open the hood of your car to check it out. If something smells off, this could be a sign that the alternator is slipping its belt. 


If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, we invite you to our auto repair shop. For dependable alternator repairs, please call or visit South Park Tire & Auto Center today.

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