How to Identify a Bad Alternator

How to Identify a Bad Alternator

How to Identify a Bad AlternatorA healthy alternator plays an essential role in keeping your battery charged up. When the alternator malfunctions, the battery's power reserve can become drained to the point that you're unable to get moving. Here's a look at seven signs of a failing alternator.

Dash Light Illuminates

Whenever dashboard warning lights turn on, you don't want to ignore them. If you see the letters ALT or GEN light up, then an alternator problem could be present. In some cars, this warning light illuminates in the form of a little battery.

Dead Battery

Your car battery should work reliably for three to five years. If it dies at an earlier age, it could be due to alternator failure---unless of course you left your headlights on!

Problems with Electrical Accessories

In newer cars, the computers are regularly programmed to determine which electrical accessories should first have their power cut when the alternator isn't working right. This saves power to be used by your vehicle's most important electrical functions. If, for example, your power windows aren't working properly, this could be the reason.

Belt Issue

If you do a quick visual inspection and see that a belt is too tight, too loose, or cracked, then you may have located the source of your alternator trouble.


A faulty alternator may not supply your spark plugs with a sufficient amount of power. Consequently, your vehicle could stall out.

Malfunctioning Headlights

A bad alternator can cause headlights to start flickering or dimming, which can pose a safety hazard when driving at night, especially on roads that aren't lit up by street lamps.

Burning Odor

Alternator drive belts are required to endure major stress. As they eventually wear out, they are liable to emit a burning smell.

If you need auto repair, be sure to bring your vehicle to a reputable mechanic. For alternator replacement & electrical system repair in Margate, Coral Springs, North Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, and Coconut Creek, FL, contact the experts at J & C Car Repair at (954) 504-9484. Feel free to give J & C Car Repair a call today to schedule an appointment for any of your vehicle's repair or maintenance needs!

J & C Car Repair Blog
Posted: December 21, 2020

Written and Published By MORBiZ

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