Alternator Failing? How to Distinguish Between a failing Alternator and a Dead Battery

failing alternatorMost people have heard of the alternator. But few know where it’s located, what it looks like, or what it does. We’ll discuss the signs of a failing alternator and why these are significant.

What Is an Alternator?

The battery supplies power to most of the vehicle’s electrical components. The battery’s power, of course, doesn’t last indefinitely. The alternator takes mechanical energy from the powertrain and converts it to electrical power. Then it supplies the power to the battery to keep it charged.

Without the alternator, the battery would gradually lose juice while the car is running. The voltage output will eventually fade out completely, causing the car to stop dead in its tracks.

The alternator is located in various areas of the engine depending on the model. The component is a cylindrical structure attached to a belt.

How to Tell if the Alternator Is Failing

A failing alternator is often mistaken for a dead battery. To rule out a dead battery, check the headlights. If the lights brighten when you accelerate but dim afterwards, then you have an alternator problem. The lighted icons on your dashboard may also gradually dim.

If the car won’t start at all, then you likely have a battery problem. In this case, you can usually still jumpstart the car, and the vehicle will run just fine. Once you switch off the ignition, though, the vehicle won’t be able to start back up again.

In any case, bring your car to an auto service provider to confirm whether the problem is the alternator or battery. Sometimes, an auto repair crew may determine that the issue lies elsewhere entirely.

We’ll Fix a Failing Alternator

Many car owners waste money by replacing a presumably dead battery when the alternator is the problem. For a proper diagnosis, bring your car to Avery Automotive. Replacing a failing alternator is affordable with our repair financing assistance.

Edited by Justin Vorhees

Alternator Diagnosis and Replacement

Serving customers in Gold Bar, Index, Maltby, Monroe, Skykomish, Snohomish, Startup and Sultan