Here Are 5 Signs That Your Car Needs a New Alternator
One of the most important components in a car is an alternator. An alternator is an electromagnetically device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. The use of an alternator in a car is to power the electric car system at the time the engine is running. Your car’s alternator keeps your battery charged and powers every electrical item in your car while the engine is running.
Without it, your battery will discharge very quickly and sooner or later your car will stop running. An auto electrician can show you whether or not the alternator is producing the required voltage and current. Among the components that require the electric power in a car are air conditioner, radio, headlights, and many others. The electrical power is also for recharging your battery.
Problems with The Alternator
Several circumstances can cause the alternator to fail. For example, suppose your battery has lost most of its charge. If you jump-start the battery, there is a small chance that you can overload the alternator.
The alternator also consists of many moving parts. These parts can wear down or become dirty over time. They can also suffer stress from extreme temperature changes.
Lastly, bearings inside the assembly that influence the rotation of the rotor shaft can begin to fail. When this happens, the rotor will become less capable of rotating as efficiently as before. The alternator will produce an insufficient charge and eventually stop operating altogether.
Alternators can be expensive, so before you go to the expense of getting a replacement, its worth just testing to see if your alternator is faulty, or whether it’s a blown warning light or other electrical problem. You can do this easily by using a voltmeter.
You will need to start your car’s engine to test your alternator, so it’s best if you get everything ready first and locate the alternator. There are wires connected to push in plugs at the back of an alternator, although on older car’s you may find nuts connect the wires. A couple of the wires are thick; one is usually red the other can vary in color; you can ignore these wires. However, you will also find a small thin wire; disconnect it from the alternator, this wires connects to the warning light and is the agitator.
Turn on your engine. Set the voltmeter in the range of 6 to 18 volts. Connect the two alligator clips on the wires’ ends from the meter to the two terminals that have thick wires attached. If the voltmeter reads, it’s below 10 volts rev the engine slightly to see if the voltage increases, if it does your alternator is fine. If it doesn’t, or the reading is low or maybe no reading at all, then your alternator needs replacing.
Some Signs You May Require a New Alternator
1. Issues with headlights
A sign of alternator problems may be when the car’s headlights aren’t as strong as they should be. This is a clear result of an alternator problem because it is responsible for supplying the vehicle’s electrical requirements. Brighter headlights than usual could indicate the same problem, and so could the stopping of the tachometers or speedometers. As a driver, you mustn’t only rely on the car to tell you or signal when something is wrong. For example, use your eyes to detect whether something is amiss under the hood; you may find that the alternator belt is loose or broken.
2. Sounds made by an alternator
Strange sounds coming from under the hood indicates that there could be problems with the pulley in the alternator. Listen for any loud and grinding noise caused by the rotor failing within the alternator. Take one end from the heater hose and set it alongside to your ear while moving the other end near to the alternator.
The amount will increase drastically when the alternator is faulty. In this instance, the only thing you should do is try to get an alternative. The alternator is easy to spot and inspect, but taking it apart, that’s one other issue. Try to take the car as soon as possible to some certified mechanic.
3. A Dead Battery
One of the more confusing signs of alternator problems is a dead battery, but then you need to delve in some investigations, as it just might be a bad battery that needs replacing.
Your car’s electrical system is crucial. It is especially common during the winter months when lights are on for longer periods of time or if the lights are left on after turning the car off. A simple jump-start does take care of the current problem, but never forget to have the battery always checked.
Batteries that are weak often bring about damage to alternators. If your alternator is indicating signs of failure, immediately take your auto to your technician so they can assess the situation and perform the appropriate auto electrical repair.
4. Electrical Malfunctions
A broken connection or single little wire can lead to a series of electrical failures. A simple auto electrical service, such as reconnecting an on-line fuse or connection can bring life back to your car.
5. Burning Smell Coming From Alternator
A burning smell could be caused by an overheating alternator, worn out wires, or a circuit or fuse malfunction. If you notice this problem with your alternator, then immediately replace it with a new one.
Prolonging the Alternator’s Life
Keeping an alternator in good working condition is simple. Make sure the posts and cable connections on your battery are free of corrosion. Otherwise, the charge may have trouble traveling through. Check the battery’s connections once every two or three weeks.
Also, check the drive belt that loops around the rotor shaft. Look for signs of wear and deterioration. If you notice any such signs, replace the belt.
Your alternator can last over a lot of miles. Some last twice as long and others fail in half the time of others. If yours fails, consider buying a new one. Always make sure you’re buying from a reputable manufacturer. Otherwise, you’ll waste time and money having defective units replaced down the road.
Jack Frost provides proper diagnosis and supply and fit of new alternators, so don’t hesitate to contact us today and request a FREE quote.