While your vehicle's battery does give electrical charges to start your engine, the alternator plays an even more important role by keeping the battery charged. It is also the part that powers your car's electrical functions. Without a working alternator, your vehicle will not be able to get you where you need to be.
The alternator draws its power from the engine into electrical energy. The electrical current is then moved to keep your electrical systems operational and battery-charged. It is named an alternator because it generates an alternating current that changes direction systematically.
Because the alternator is related to the battery, it is somewhat harder to differentiate which one is causing a problem. Both components have parts that wear out, which means you may need to make a trip to the auto shop for a more accurate understanding. These are some of the most common signs that your alternator needs repairs:
Dimming or Blinking of Interior & Exteriors Lights
The alternator generates enough power to turn all the lights inside and outside of your vehicle on. If the brightness of any of these lights grows faint or blinks, then it is most likely the alternator at fault.
Malfunctioning Electrical Components
Besides your lights, you may also encounter problems with other accessories such as your power windows, power seats, radio, steering wheel warmer.
If the alternator is not working 100%, then it can often leave you with a drained battery. Don't be surprised if you have to replace your battery AND make repairs to your alternator. You may also see your battery warning light come on coupled with your drained battery.
If the bearings and the rotors in the alternator are problematic, you may hear grinding or growling metallic sounds.
A foul odor of burning rubber could signal that parts of your alternator are wearing out. The alternator's drive belt is constantly surrounded by pressure and heat (from the engine), so the rubbery belt may wear out over time and bring about a nasty burning rubber smell.
If you catch any of these signs mentioned above, please bring your car to Protech Automotive Services ASAP! Our excellent team can provide you with the information you need and the necessary repairs to get your car back on the road again. Give us a call at (401) 208-2445, or come by our shop today!