Common Check Engine Light Triggers

Is it Time for Alternator Repair?


Is it Time for Alternator Repair?The alternator is a critical part of your vehicle's operating system. It's main purpose is to recycle the power used by the car's battery, replenishing the battery for the next time you need to start your car. However it also provides the juice to run many systems in your car while the engine is on, including the engine computers, climate control, lights and much more. If you notice any of the following it may be time for a new battery.

Flickering or Dim Lights

If your vehicle's alternator is going out there is a good chance you will begin to notice dim headlights and dash lights. This is because the alternator is responsible for operating the lights while the car is on and if it is no longer producing enough electricity to do so at full capacity they will start to dim.

Dashboard Warning Light

Modern vehicles have a dashboard indicator light for the charging system, which will illuminate if it begins to have issues. The light often says GEN for generator or ALT for alternator, but it may also be shaped like a battery. Check your owner's manual for further reference.

Whining Sound Under Hood

Worn out bearings inside the alternator could cause a grinding or whining noise. The bushings that the alternator is mounted on could also go bad, which would result in a similar whining sound.

Belt Problem

Electrical problems may not actually be caused by the alternator. The belt that the alternator is connected to a belt or two depending on your vehicle. If there is an issue with a belt connected to the alternator you will experience strange electrical issues. Pop the hood and conduct a visual inspection of the engine compartment to check if the belts are too loose, tight or if they are cracked.

Dead or Weak Battery

Since the alternator helps operate the starter and ignition you can test to see if hard starting is caused by the alternator or simply a battery that is at the end of its life. Fully charge the battery using a battery charger. Once it is is fully charged try to start your car. If there is still difficulty starting it is likely due to the alternator.

Your car's electrical system is very important to overall operation, so be sure to keep it in tip top shape. If you are experiencing electrical issues and believe that you may need alternator repair in Richmond be sure to visit the professional auto repair technicians at Auto Repairs Plus. We service all makes and models using the most advanced diagnostic and repair equipment and high quality parts. When it is time for auto repair in Richmond give us a call at (804) 262-4200 and we will be happy to schedule you an appointment.

Auto Repairs Plus - Richmond VA Blog

Written and Published By MORBiZ

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