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Posted: 02/02/2022

What Are the Warning Signs of a Bad Alternator?

If the battery is the heart of your vehicle’s electrical system, the alternator is the brain. It makes sure the battery is charging, the car can start, and the accessories work. If your battery is dying and you're not sure why, it's possible that the alternator in your car may be bad. If you notice any of these warning signs, then it might be time to get a new alternator for your car.

Battery Life Doesn't Last as Long as Usual

If your battery is dying faster than usual, then there might be a problem with the alternator. If you notice that your battery isn't lasting as long as it used to, then you should take your car in for a check-up.


The Car Struggles to Start

If your battery is old and struggling to hold a charge, then it might be time for you to purchase a new battery. However, if the battery is new and the car is still having trouble starting, then it's likely that there's a problem with the alternator.

Battery Dies Quickly After Starting 

If the battery is dying soon after you start your car, then it's likely that the alternator isn't charging it correctly. This can be dangerous because your battery could die while you're driving, which can leave you stranded. That is only a danger if you can actually get your car to start all the way the first time.

You Smell Burning Rubber or Wires

If you smell burning rubber or wires, it's likely that there's a problem with the alternator. This is because those smells are often associated with the belt and/or battery. Because an alternator uses a belt to drive a pully within the engine, burning rubber smells can indicate improper functioning. 

The Battery Warning Light Comes On

If your battery warning light comes on when you're driving, then it's time to get the alternator checked. This is a sign that there's a problem with the alternator and it's not charging the battery correctly. One of the especially telling signs of a bad alternator is a flickering of that battery light, as that is a reliable indicator that the specific voltage from the alternator is not consistent. 

Your Accessories Are Slow or Not Working At All

If you find your vehicle's windows are slow or sluggish, or if your windshield wipers take a little longer to make a full sweep across the windshield, the inconsistent electrical charge from a bad alternator might be to blame.

Your Vehicle Part Source

Arnold Motor Supply has been a leading supplier of auto parts since 1927. Founded and based in Iowa, we have locations all over the midwest. Order your parts today and you'll be notified via email once your purchase is ready for pickup at your local Arnold Motor Supply or Auto Value parts store.

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