Power Failure: Ways of Detecting A Busted Alternator

The battery is what makes the engine starts, but it will never work without the alternator.  They not only reload and sustain battery voltage, and they likewise provide the power required for an engine to work.

gray and black engine

Having a busted alternator can be a major concern because it works with the battery. Thus, finding the source of the power problem can be very difficult. Know that there are obvious indications for you to have the right analysis. Here are the symptoms of a bad alternator:

  • Warning Lights

This is a real sign that tells you to investigate. A few cars have dashboard warning lights that declares either Gen or Alt. Should one of them lights up, it is worth examining.

Other types will just tell you there is something wrong with your battery. You need to check it out some more because it did not indicate that there is a concern in your alternator or even your battery. Whatever sign it is, it is worth investigating.

  • Ghost Lights and Accessories

When the engine is working, the alternator gives the energy to the power windows and locks, radio, lights and almost every accessories of the car. Well, one indicator that something is wrong is when the headlights becomes dull. Also, it blinks the minute you do a revolution when the engine is on. This is telling you that the alternator is not getting sufficient power.

  • Problems with the Battery

The battery is the easiest to blame when there is a problem with the alternator, which is not always the case. True that a busted alternator can deteriorate a battery more rapidly, but make sure you find out where the problem is coming from.

Now, if you are driving for a good say 20 minutes and suddenly the car stops and loses its power, you have a damaged alternator. More so, if you try to start your car many times and yet it won’t budge even with a new battery, you can definitely blame your alternator.

  • Strange Sounds and Smell

The alternator has plenty of moving parts when it is at work.  If you hear strange sounds or smell, it could mean that a portion of the alternator got busted off within the alternator such as the worn out bearing. That could result to a grating noise.

Now, if that piece that was broken comes from outside, then, that could go to the bay of the engine and can produce a rattling sound. Another problem could be the alternator’s belt so if this becomes faulty, it could fall resulting to heat and friction. Take a look at that area if you smell a burnt rubber. Examine the belt if it is firm, well-coordinated.

If your car has this whimpering noise, then, it is warning you that the voltage regulator needs the alternator to charge more. Any kind of strange sound like whimpering or grinding, have your alternator checked.

Just like any parts of your car, alternators have a service life, too. This varies depending on its manufacturer. A lot of things could transpire such as brushes wear, broken bearings, and etc.

Be certain that you have really examined everything before doing any repairs or changes. If not, then, you will waste your time and effort.  Next thing to do is to call a professional mechanic.


When a something is wrong with the alternator of your car, it could really be so distressing especially if you cannot trace the source of the problem. Do not waste your time and effort; go to a dependable auto repair shop. Look no further because Chaney’s Collision Center can handle your car with great care and precision. You may call  Chaney’s Collision Center at (623) 915-2886.