If you are having a difficult time seeing at night because your headlights are too dim, it’s possible that you need a new alternator underneath the hood. Advanced Automotive advises that the alternator produces electricity in your car, truck, or C/SUV’s engine. Specifically, it generates up to 14.5 volts. Dim headlights are a sign that the alternator is not producing enough voltage. Here are other signs.
Dead Car Battery
You may find it difficult to get your engine to start if the alternator is malfunctioning. In fact, you may end up with a dead engine due to a dead battery because the alternator was unable to keep the battery charged. This is one thing that the alternator does; it charges the battery while it discharges.
The alternator also provides power to your vehicle’s accessories, so if any of them are malfunctioning, it’s possible that the problem is the alternator. For example, assume for the moment that you try to adjust your power seats and they won’t move. This could mean the alternator has died.
Another thing that the alternator powers is your engine’s spark plugs. If you have had some problems with your engine stalling lately, it’s possible that the alternator can no longer produce enough voltage to power the spark plugs properly. Consequently, your engine will misfire and stall frequently.
You might also hear growling noises coming from your vehicle’s engine if the alternator is wearing down on the inside. Another sound associated with the alternator is squealing. If you hear squealing when you start your automobile, the accessory belt is too loose and the alternator is attached to it.
Burning Wire Odors
Sometimes, when the alternator starts to go bad, it pushes itself too hard and generates excess voltage. This can cause the odor of burning wires to come from the engine. It can also make your vehicle’s lights too bright. Don’t drive your automobile if you smell hot wires. This can create a dangerous situation.
Finally, your vehicle’s dashboard will let you know that the alternator is having problems. Depending on the warning lights exclusive to your dashboard, you will see an illuminated battery-shaped light, GEN light, or ALT light. This is your automobile’s main computer chip letting you know there’s a problem.
Advanced Automotive in Stanwood, WA, would be happy to test your alternator if your car is having any of the problems listed above. Give us a call today.