By instinct, you can tell when your car is about to break down. However, identifying a problematic alternator needs more than instinct. It needs basic mechanical knowledge and/or expertise. Sometimes, it needs experience. Well, in that case, you should be able to read particular signs in a malfunctioning alternator.
The alternator is only a simple system but it is also an important component of your car. It turns mechanical energy to electrical energy. Since it is connected with other systems in the vehicle, any malfunction may affect the functionality of the car. This will in turn affect the operation of your car. Fortunately, most cars incorporate computer technology that monitors the functionality of other systems in your vehicle. Whenever the computer systems detects functionality issues, they send an alert before the problem worsens. Reading the indications below will enable you identify such problems in a car.
Alert light signal
The dashboard has a light alert section that triggers the lighting system during particular situations. Whenever the light flashes, it is an indication that the alternator is malfunctioning. Often, the light is battery shaped. Sometimes, the light may read “GEN” or “ALT”. The light is connected to the output voltage monitor that triggers the light on the dashboard whenever the alternator is problematic.
Sudden dimming of lights
As already indicated above, the major function of the alternator is to generate and supply the vehicle with electric energy. Dimming lights is an indication that the alternator is breaking down. Other associated signals include dimming of the most reliable headlights and/or dash lights. The heating systems for the car seats may also malfunction. Equally, faulty electric system may stop the tachometer and speedometer systems.
Car batteries are connected with the electric system of your car. In most cases, malfunctioning of your car battery can be traced to a problematic alternator. A car battery aids in the starting system of your car. In that case, it is connected with the alternator to supply energy. Whenever a battery spoils, chances are that it will affect the alternator as well. It is important to check your alternator as well when you realize your car battery has spoiled.
Broken connection systems
Sometimes, it takes a keen eye to discover loose or broken connection in your car. Car battery is connected to the alternator and the alternator is connected with other systems in your car. Loose car connection systems may result to a malfunctioning alternator. On the extreme, broken car connection system may result into total breakdown of your car functionality.
Whining sounds, burning smell or excessive wear and tear
A combination of signs may indicate a faulty alternator. To be accurate in identifying the indications of a malfunctioning alternator, you only need to be oblivious of whatever is abnormal with your car. Smell of burning rubber or wires may loosen the wiring or break the connection system altogether. Abnormal wear and tear may indicate looming problems. Sometimes, a problematic alternator may produce a whining noise. Make sure to check the systems to ensure your car’s total functionality and safety.