Does Your Car Have Alternator Trouble? Here Are Seven Signs It Does

Your car, truck, or SUV needs the alternator to power the electrical system. If the alternator fails, you’ll notice electrical issues. You don’t realize how much your vehicle relies on electricity to start and run until the alternator dies. Are you on the road to alternator trouble? Here are seven signs from Marks Auto Service that you are.

Dashboard Warning

Your Battery, ALT (Alternator), or GEN (Generator) will illuminate if there is alternator trouble. This light will turn on for any electrical system problem. If your car, truck, or SUV isn’t equipped with these dashboard warning lights, your Check Engine light will turn on.

Headlight Problems

Another sign of alternator failure is headlight failure. Your headlights might blink or flicker if they aren’t getting enough power from the alternator. They will also be dimmer than normal or won’t work at all. This can also indicate trouble with your battery or an issue with the alternator charging the battery.

Component Failure

You may love your modern center console and all the things it can do for you but if these things are powered by the alternator. Does your radio keep switching off? Is your GPS system on the fritz? Does it take forever for your power window to close? These are all indicators of a problem with the alternator.

Burning Smells

The alternator is a complex piece of machinery that uses belts and inner parts to generate voltage. If there’s a problem with the belts or if the alternator is overheating, you smell hot rubber. This odor will come from the engine and it’s important to find out where the smell is coming from right away.

Dead Battery

Your battery receives its charge from the alternator. The alternator keeps your battery charged while you’re vehicle is at rest and while you’re driving. If the alternator cannot charge the battery because it’s dead, your battery will die, too. If you’re having battery trouble, get the alternator checked.

This Results In…

Obviously, problems with the alternator and battery will make it difficult to start your car, truck, or SUV and may even cause it to stall. Even though you drive a gasoline-powered vehicle, it still needs the voltage generated by the alternator to start and run. Stalls can be caused by a failing alternator.


Finally, if the belts or parts inside the alternator are worn, you might hear grinding or squealing noises. These noises usually happen when you start your vehicle, but they can occur at any time. To prevent additional damage to your vehicle’s engine, have the noises inspected as soon as possible.

Marks Auto Service in Loves Park, Belvidere, Roscoe, and Rockford, IL would be happy to test and replace your vehicle’s alternator. Bring your car, truck, or SUV into our shop today.


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