Failing Alternator

by | Mar 18, 2020 | Best Practices

Signs Your Alternator’s Failing

An alternator is your car’s generator: once the car is started, the alternator generates energy to power your vehicle and its accessories, like the interior and exterior lights. It also simultaneously recharges your battery for the next time you need to start the car. Sometimes, alternators wear out or just break. How do you know if your alternator needs maintenance? Here are signs that your automobile’s alternator needs service.

My battery light is on

Most people assume the battery light means there’s something wrong with your car battery. In fact, it most likely means there’s a charging issue. If your battery light is on, this could mean your car’s alternator is failing. Either way, a lit battery light is something that should be investigated. Bring your car to HEART Certified Auto Care for our exclusive 33 point inspection and we’ll have your problem solved ASAP. In fact, 98% of our service is completed the same day.

Why are my car lights flickering?

One of the easier ways to tell if your alternator’s failing is if your lights are flickering. These lights include your headlights, dashboard lights, or center dome light. If any of these are flickering, it could be your alternator. If your car lights are flickering, bring your car to one of the HEART Certified Auto Care locations, and we’ll have everything fixed in no time. But, note, flickering lights are not definitely an alternator issue, so read on for more symptoms.

Why is my engine making strange noises?

Is your car engine making a squealing sound? Is your automobile growling or grinding? If so, it may be a bad pulley bearing, but it could also mean your alternator belt may have stretched out, diminishing the charge, or the internal bearings have worn out. In either case, stop by HEART’s Evanston, Wilmette, or Northbrook location to have it fixed.

My car won’t start

Is your car engine making a squealing sound? Is your automobile growling or grinding? If so, it may be a bad pulley bearing, but it could also mean your alternator belt may have stretched out, diminishing the charge, or the internal bearings have worn out. In either case, stop by HEART’s Evanston, Wilmette, or Northbrook location to have it fixed.

My engine stalled

A stalled car engine likely means your alternator’s not working right. If your engine dies while driving, it’s a good chance your alternator has failed. If your engine stalls, contact HEART Certified Auto Care as soon as possible.

Why does my car smell weird?

Alternators rely on a rubber belt to keep moving. If your alternator’s failing, the belts can run too fast or slip off center, creating friction. This friction creates heat, which, in turn, emits a burning smell. If you smell this type of odor, there’s definitely something wrong, and you should bring your car to HEART ASAP.

Why does my car radio turn off by itself?

A common sign that your alternator’s failing is if windows roll up and down slowly, or if your radio turns off by itself, or really any other electrical component that’s responding slowly or abnormally.

My car’s warning light is on

This is the easiest way to tell if your alternator needs repair. Most newer model cars have a specific alternator icon — usually “ALT” or “GEN”. If either of these lights up, it’s time to visit HEART, where we’ll put your car through a 33 point inspection to guarantee there is no other damage. Best of all, we take pictures at every step, to keep you informed of all the details.

For alternator or any other car repair questions, contact HEART Certified Auto Care Evanston, HEART Certified Auto Care Wilmette, or HEART Certified Auto Care Northbrook. We’re always happy to help!

More Best Practices

What You Need to Know about Oil Changes

Two of the most common automotive questions are “How often should I change my oil?” and “When should I change my oil?” To take the guess work out of your oil maintenance,...

How to Change a Flat Tire

Why it matters All drivers should know how to change a flat tire. Flat tires can happen anywhere and knowing how to replace one can save you from being stranded somewhere on...

Winter Care Care Tips

Winter can be tough on your vehicle, especially when you live in a place like Chicago. To ensure optimal performance and that you don't get stranded in the cold, here are...

Starter Warning Signs

Eight Signs Your Car’s Starter Is Failing The car’s starter is the mechanism that cranks the engine to get it going. It’s imperative to fix a failing or malfunctioning...

Car Electronics Trouble Shooting

How to tell if your car's electrical system is on the fritz. Your car runs on more than gasoline. A tremendous amount of electricity goes into moving you from point A to...

Leaking Fluids

What’s that stain under my car? 7 Stains that indicate car Problems Your car runs on many more fluids than just gas. There is a wide variety of liquids that keep your car on...

Top Questions to Ask Your Mechanic

It's never fun when you notice something is wrong with your vehicle. You're driving along and you hear an odd noise, smell a peculiar odor, feel vibrations in the steering...

Why Your Car Needs Winter Tires

Winter tires are a must, especially when you live in a very cold and snowy climate like the one we have in the Chicago area. The last thing you want is to be stuck and...

Skidding Tips

What Do I Do If My Car Skids? Car skidding is scary. Luckily, we know how to turn out of a skid and, even better, avoid them altogether. To guarantee you arrive safe and...

5 Signs You Car Needs Service

How to make sense of the dials and sensors Cars come with a lot of gauges, especially on older models. Even newer model cars offer so many diagnostic numbers that they can...