altenatorThe alternator is the part of your vehicle’s electrical system responsible for powering your car’s accessories, such as headlights
, gauges, radio, and even electro-hydraulic lifts on snow plows. It converts the mechanical energy produced from the engine into electrical current for these devices, and also recharges the battery while you are driving. A faulty alternator has a few telltale signs, and will result in either the battery not charging preventing your car starting, or an excess of energy build up blowing the battery. If you are experiencing problems, it is easy to test the alternator’s voltage, and is a simple fix for your mechanic to replace it.

Warning Signs:

Battery Light – There is light on the instrument cluster that looks like a battery. This comes on when there is a faulty voltage reading and could be a sign of a bad alternator rather than just a bad battery. As you use more of your vehicle’s electrical components, such as windshield wipers, heated seats, or defrosters, the alternator has to put out increased voltage. If it cannot keep up with the demand, the light may come on.

Fluctuating Headlights – With varied voltage output the headlights could become dim or exceedingly bright. In newer vehicles, some other functions may change before this occurs since they may be considered lower on the list of safety priorities compared to headlights. These are things such as heated seats or the radio, which would not have as much of an effect on your safety as visibility would.

Bad Connections – Sometimes an issue with the vehicle’s charging system might not necessarily be a bad alternator, but a problem with loose or broken electrical connections. If the alternator seems to be putting out the right amount of voltage, check through other parts of the electrical system to make sure that the current is able to get where it needs to go with good connections.

At Autologic of Greensboro, NC we are equipped to address vehicle maintenance needs all year round. Our staff is committed to providing quality services with integrity. If your vehicle displays any of the warning signs of a bad alternator, it is a good idea to get it checked right away. When the alternator goes bad, often your battery will not charge and you may end up stranded and unable to start the vehicle. Contact us at (336) 510-7823 or come see us at 1223 Grecade St., Greensboro, NC.