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How to Tell If Your Car's Alternator Is In Trouble

Last updated 4 years ago

A malfunctioning alternator can range in severity from a mild inconvenience to a broken car in need of repair. Your alternator supplies power to your accessories, headlights, and even your car battery. Here are a few signs to look for if you think your car’s alternator is in trouble.

Dim Headlights

Your alternator powers your automotive accessories, so if they begin to fail, this may be a sign that your alternator is malfunctioning. Your headlights may turn off, dim, or suddenly shine very brightly. If you notice that your headlights or other accessories are starting to act up or malfunction, have your alternator checked out immediately. If you continue to let your alternator decline, it will eventually stop producing the energy your car needs to move.

Sounds and Smells

If you notice any strange sounds coming from your car, such as growling, this may be an indicator that your alternator is in trouble. When the alternator pulley is not correctly aligned with the accessory belt, it tends to cause this whining sound, which will let you know that your alternator needs an adjustment. If you notice a burning smell, this could be due to a similar situation; your alternator may be causing excess friction and thus too much heat.

Warning Light

Your dashboard can tell you a great deal about how your car is running, including the status of your alternator. If your alternator is not outputting the correct voltage, the warning light in your dashboard will light up. However, the light will turn off again once the alternator is producing the proper range of voltage. Since the accessories in your car require power from the alternator, you may find that the warning light is on when you are using your headlights, heated seats, and radio at the same time.

If your car’s alternator is in trouble, call Dekalb Tire and Automotive Repair at (404) 334-9531. We are an automotive repair and tire store that specializes in brake repair, wheel alignment, and engine light problems. Since 1965, we have proudly served the Tucker, Buckhead, Cumming, Smyrna, and Sandy Springs areas. For more information, visit our website or stop by and see us.



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