August 3rd, 2021 | Updated on March 15th, 2022
As a responsible car owner, you have to keep in mind that good maintenance and regular inspections are essential for extending the life of your vehicle and ensuring smooth and safe drives.
As time goes by, wear and tear will become noticeable and impact the performance of your car. So, you have to keep a close eye on your car’s condition and watch out for signs of malfunction.
If you suspect something might be wrong with your alternator and you want to find out if it’s time to replace it with a new one, here are 5 tell-tale signs of alternator failure you should watch out for.
You Have Trouble Starting Your Car
Just like other car components, alternators have a limited lifespan, so they’ll need replacing sooner or later. One of the most obvious signs that your alternator is nearing the end of its life is when you start having trouble starting your car.
If your vehicle doesn’t respond like it once used to when you try to get it started, an old and worn-out alternator might be to blame for it.
Your Battery Keeps Dying
A dead battery might not seem like such a big deal if you know exactly what caused it (leaving your headlights on, for example).
But if your battery is fairly new and you know for sure you’ve done nothing wrong, yet it keeps dying, you might want to check your alternator to find the source of the problem.
An old alternator won’t have the capacity to recharge your battery, thus the dead battery issues that keep troubling you.
Dimming Or Flickering Headlights
The alternator is also responsible for keeping your headlight bright and shiny, which means that dimming or flickering headlights are usually a clear indicator of alternator failure.
Pay close attention to the intensity of your car’s headlights to make sure everything is ok. The last thing you want is to find yourself in complete darkness while driving at night.
Issues With Electrical Accessories
Your battery or headlight are not the only components that can be affected by a dying alternator. Other electrical accessories in your car can also point out that your alternator’s performance is affected.
Issues with your radio, power windows or power seats can provide clues in this respect. Usually, electrical accessories will dim out when starting or accelerating your car, meaning you have to check your alternator’s health before looking for other explanations.
Older cars can be quite noisy for any number of reasons, but if you’ve noticed a grinding noise coming from your alternator lately, you shouldn’t automatically put this on your car’s old age.
A loose bearing in your alternator can be the reason behind this annoying sound, and that requires your immediate attention. Similarly, whining sounds can indicate that your alternator isn’t able to distribute power throughout your car, meaning you have to take your car to the mechanics ASAP.