When your headlights are flickering, or your car stalls or make odd sounds while you’re driving, there’s a good chance your alternator is failing. An important component of a vehicle‘s electrical system, the alternator converts mechanical energy provided by the crankshaft into electrical power for a car’s electrical systems, including charging the battery. A failing alternator creates a series of electrical issues that will eventually result in vehicle breakdown. The following are five ways to spot a failing alternator so that you can get it fixed before you are stuck on the side of the road.
Most cars have a dashboard warning indicator light that will flash ALT or GEN. The activation of this light may be the first sign that an alternator is failing. Although your car may seem fine, it’s advisable to take your car to a service facility for diagnostics tests.
Dimming or Flickering Headlights
Another clear symptom of a failing generator is dimming or flickering headlights. Since the alternator generates electricity that powers the headlights, dimming or flickering headlights indicates that the alternator is having problems.
If the alternator is failing, various systems that depend on it for electricity will begin to behave erratically or stop functioning. Electrically powered components that might be affected are dashboard lights, power locks, air conditioning, power windows, and the sound system.
Hard Starting and Stalling
An alternator generates electricity that spark plugs utilize to ignite the air/fuel mixture in the engine’s combustion chambers. When the alternator is failing, it will not be able to provide adequate electricity to power the spark plugs, which can impact the ignition system. As a result, you may experience hard starting or stalling for no apparent reason.
A faulty alternator will stop providing enough electricity to charge the car’s battery. The battery will gradually drain due to a failing generator. It’s a good idea to have your alternator inspected by a mechanic if your car battery dies. This will prevent a repeat occurrence and the inconvenience caused by a breakdown on the road.
Chesapeake Import Services has provided reputable and trusted services to Annapolis and the surrounding areas since 1991. Call us for an appointment today at (410) 267-8411. We will be very happy to see you.