Yes, there is a dashboard warning light that will turn on if the alternator is malfunctioning. Vielhaber’s Garage advises that you may end up with an illuminated ALT, GEN, or battery-shaped light. These lights cover your vehicle’s electrical system, including the alternator and battery. If any of these lights turn on on your dashboard, head straight to our shop for an electrical system test.
Growling, Grinding, or Whining Noises
You may also hear growling, grinding, or whining noises coming from the engine if the alternator is going bad. The growling or grinding sounds indicate that the alternator itself is wearing out and its internal parts are grinding against each other. The whining noise is an indication that the alternator belt is too loose or needs to be replaced.
Hot Electricity Odors Coming From the Engine
On average, a car alternator will generate anywhere from 13 volts to 14.5 of electricity. It should not generate more than that. A malfunctioning alternator may get aggressive and generate too much voltage. When this happens, your car’s electrical system overheats. Consequently, you will smell hot electricity, such as burning wires, coming from the engine.
Malfunctioning or Slow Accessories
The alternator is in charge of providing power to your automobile’s power accessories. A faulty alternator will slow down the accessories or cause them to malfunction. For example, it may take longer for your power windows to open and close or your radio may start turning off by itself. Problems with your vehicle’s accessories are a sign of a dying alternator.
Problems Starting the Car/Dead Battery
You may also start to have problems starting your automobile or your battery may die constantly because the alternator is no longer able to keep it charged. This is another responsibility of the alternator. If your battery has been discharging lately until it is dead, it’s possible that the problem is actually the alternator and not the battery.
Problems With the Vehicle’s Lights
If you suspect that your alternator is going bad, take a good look at your vehicle’s lights to see what they are doing. If they are dimmer than normal, brighter than normal, or flickering, this is an indication that the alternator is not giving them a steady stream of power.
Sudden and Frequent Stalling
Finally, the alternator also provides power to the spark plugs so they can generate sparks in the combustion chamber. If your vehicle has suddenly started to stall frequently, it’s possible that the alternator is unable to provide power to the spark plugs.
Call Vielhaber’s Garage in Findlay, OH, today if your vehicle is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above. We will test the alternator and replace it if necessary.