Nick's Auto Blog

Hello, my name is Nick. This is my new auto blog. Have you ever wondered about how you can improve the look and functioning of your auto? If so you are in the right place. I live in a large house in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia and my house has as many garage parking spots as it does rooms. And believe me, it has a lot of rooms. I like to collect classic cars and then work on them to restore them to their former glory. In doing this, I have learnt lots of cool tricks. I would like to share some of these tricks with you here.

How To Tell Your Car's Alternator Is Having Problems

Automotive Blog

The alternator is a vital component among your cars charging and electrical systems. It's basically a motor that collects mechanical energy from the engine and transforms it into electrical energy. This electrical energy is then stored in the battery and also used to power the car's AC, power windows, music and other electrical components.

If your car's alternator fails, your car will not enjoy these services and may stall when the battery runs out completely. As a result, it's important to tell when your alternator is having problems:

Your car doesn't start or takes too long to crank

If your car doesn't start or experiences an abnormally delayed crank time, you could have a problem with the alternator. Usually, the battery is supposed to provide power to the starter. However, if the battery is not getting charged by the faulty alternator, your car won't start. A mechanic can diagnose this problem by checking the wiring, fuses and voltage of the alternator.

Your car has reduced power

The alternator provides electrical power when the car is running. If you experience reduced power when driving, it means the alternator is failing. This can be manifested in terms of lights dimming, stereo and air conditioning going off or the car engine starting to stall intermittently. If any of this happens, it means the car is using power from the battery and you have a limited time to repair your alternator before your car grinds to a halt.

You have a battery warning light

The battery light flashing on your car's dash indicates that the battery is not carrying enough charge. This warning is usually sent by the alternator, as it is responsible for monitoring the battery and charging it. Through a voltmeter, your mechanic will test the charge from the battery when idle and when running to see if the battery is charging as it should. If there is a discrepancy, your alternator is the problem.

Your alternator is noisy

If your alternator is noisy, that indicates there is a problem within it. Often, this is an indicator of worn bearings that need to be replaced. At other times, a noisy alternator could actually be due to a broken belt. This will only require a visual inspection to confirm.

The alternator has a strong burning smell

The alternator can at times overheat due to a malfunction. When this happens the internal components will heat up and burn. The stator (copper windings) and the plastic covers will take the biggest brunt of this, giving off a combustion smell from the alternator.

If you detect any of the above, take your car to the mechanic as soon as possible. A simple voltage test should show if your alternator is faulty. If not, your mechanic will explore the battery and the starter for a diagnosis. Contact a cmpany like Carbusters Auto Wreckers to learn more.


14 July 2015