5 Signs You're Having Alternator Troubles

The alternator is a simple yet crucial device within every gasoline-powered automobile. The alternator has a mechanism that recycles power to and from your vehicle battery while you are driving. Electric vehicles and most hybrid vehicles will not have this mechanism because they have different batteries.


When your vehicle is on, the battery supplies power to all kinds of systems: the engine, the air conditioner, the infotainment system, and other electronic components. The alternator is the backbone of the battery and sends power back into the battery to sustain a charge. If the alternator isn't working correctly, you will encounter major electrical system failures and a drained battery.


It's essential to understand the warning signs of a failing alternator:

1. Faint Lights

Whether the lights look dim periodically or continuously, blurry lights are a common sign of a weak battery and/or a failing alternator. Too dim of lights can pose many hazards, so you should get the problem diagnosed and fixed immediately.

2. Malfunctioning Electronics

If your car stereo, power windows/doors/seats, and other electrical components start to lose functionality, it could very well be a problem with your alternator.

3. Dashboard Warning Light

Your car has various dashboard warning lights, including the check engine light. There's also a light in the outline of a battery, "ALT," or "GEN." Any of these symbols could signal a weak alternator, wiring issues, dying battery, or all of the above.

4. Odd Sounds

One of the most common signs of a bad alternator is whining or grinding sounds from under the hood. Of course, odd noises can come from any part of your vehicle, so it's best to have it looked at by a professional.

5. Strange Smells

Your alternator works in combination with a system of rubbery belts. If any of these bands are not turning freely, excess resistance will be created that will give off a burning rubber smell. The belt(s) may need to be tightened or restored to correct the problem.


At the first sign of any of these symptoms above, we invite you to Asian Imports for a diagnostics review, inspection, and repairs. You can be sure to trust our expert team at Asian Imports when it comes to all your alternator and battery repair and maintenance needs. Please give us a call or visit one of our shops today.

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