Is Your Alternator Going Out?

Courtesy Auto Service and Tire of Tacoma sees many issues in their shop and a failing alternator is common. Having a failing alternator can cause many issues and there are warning signs to look out for. Sometimes, when your alternator is going out, your car to be difficult to start, or it even prevent your vehicle from running altogether. Sometimes a bad alternator can cause your vehicle to just randomly shut off due to lack of power to all the necessary moving parts.

Knowing what warning signs to look for when you have a failing alternator, you want to have a mechanic like Courtesy Auto Service and Tire of Tacoma can help save you time and money. You can’t just buy a new alternator on Amazon and call it a day.

In this article, we will discuss the common signs that indicate an alternator is going out and what needs to be done when it happens. Read carefully through this article to be prepared for the unfortunate situation of this integral part going out in your vehicle.

Dimming Headlights and Interior Lights

One of the most common warning signs of a failing alternator is dim or flickering headlights or dashboard lights. A malfunctioning alternator can’t generate enough power to keep your car running and this lack of energy often shows up as a warning sign in the form of dim lights. If you spot this symptom, bring your vehicle in to Courtesy Auto Service and Tire of Tacoma to get it checked out by a professional who can diagnose and repair the issue for you.

Failing Alternator

Dead Battery Without Obvious Reason

Another common warning sign of a failing alternator is a dead battery without an obvious cause. Alternators are responsible for providing power to the car’s battery, so if the alternator isn’t functioning properly then the battery won’t be able to store energy for use. If you find that your battery keeps dying even after regular charging, it could be caused by a failing alternator.

Sluggish Performance or Engine Stalling

If your alternator isn’t able to provide the necessary power for operating the car, it can cause problems with engine performance and stalling. This usually manifests itself when more electricity-sapping features like lights and air conditioners are turned on. Additionally, if your car stalls when you slow down or come to a stop, this could be another sign of an alternator issue.

Warning Light on Dash

Failing Alternator

A warning light on the dashboard is one of the primary signs that your alternator is no longer functioning properly and needs to be replaced. This light will usually be an orange or yellow “ALT” indicator, which indicates that there is a malfunction with the alternator or other related components. If you see this light appear on your vehicle’s dashboard, it’s best to get it checked out by a professional, like a mechanic at Courtesy Auto Service and Tire of Tacoma, as soon as possible in order to avoid any major damage down the road.

Grinding or Whining-Down Sound

Another sign of a failing alternator is a grinding or whining noise coming from the alternator belt area. As the alternator starts to fail, the drive pulley can wear down, causing a loud noise whenever you accelerate. This kind of noise should never be taken lightly, as it could quickly cause serious damage to your vehicle’s engine. If you notice that there is grinding or whining sound coming from under the hood when you hit the gas pedal, it’s time to get your alternator checked by an expert.

Failing Alternator

As always, you can call us at 253-473-5556 or contact us online today to help navigate all your vehicle issues! Trust the experts at Courtesy Auto Service and Tire of Tacoma.