6 Symptoms Of A Bad Alternator (& Replacement Cost)
The modern car has many electric components. To power all these components up without issues, we need a powerful power source – the alternator.
Car alternators are used not only to charge your battery, but to also power all of the electrical components, such as lights and ignition.
Alternators are always connected to the car battery to make sure the car battery won’t run out of power while running.
How do I tell when the alternator needs to be replaced? And how much is it going to cost? Let’s begin with some common signs.
Bad alternators are most often symptombed by a warning light that lights up on your dashboard. Flickering or other issues with the engine could also be a sign of a bad alternator. You may also notice a clicking sound coming from your engine. This could be due to a defective alternator.
While you now know the most common signs, let’s take a look a little bit more in-depth into the symptoms. Below is a list that explains the six most frequent symptoms associated with a defective alternator.
Bad Alternator Symptoms
1. Battery Warning Light
If all of your warning lights are on while you're checking the ignition, but nothing is happening, it is possible that you have a problem with your car's car battery.
This battery light will light up with two conditions – If the ignition is on and if the battery power is over 13 volts. Your car's battery usually has 12 volts. When the alternator charges, it will produce around 14.2 V.
If the voltage in the system drops below 13 volts while the ignition is on – the battery light will light up on your dashboard, meaning that your alternator is not charging properly.
RELATED : Battery Warning Light On
2. If the headlights don't work, they may flicker.
Your car's headlights consume the most power and require a lot more electricity. Headlights that are powered by more electricity will be brighter.
An alternator that is not working properly can lead to a drop in voltage and dimming. Your alternator could be the problem if your headlights seem to have become dimmer than they were before.
Flickering headlights can be caused by unstable voltage at the alternator.
Modern cars have LED headlights. While you won't feel the dimming effect of an old alternator in them, they may still shut off entirely.
3. Car starting problems
The alternator must be fully charged every time your car is driven. This will ensure that your vehicle has full power when you park it and start it.
It is possible that the alternator may not fully charge if it goes bad.
If it is charging it a little bit under a fully charged car battery every time you are driving – you will finally come to a point when the car drained more power than it charged. When this happens, your car won't start at all in the morning.
It could be an issue with the alternator if you feel tired whenever you turn your car on.
4. Loudness from the engine bay
The bearings in your alternator are made up of other electronic parts. You might experience loud banging or squealing sounds if your alternator is damaged.
A bad bearing in the generator is most likely to cause scratching sounds. Usually, alternators are pretty easy to see from the engine bay, so it is also easy to open and listen if you can locate the alternator’s noise.
Some car models may have the alternator located in the engine bay, making it difficult to hear any noises. If this is the case, it's best to contact a professional mechanic.
5. Batterie Drains
If you are charging the car battery often, but the battery of your car is continually drained, even if it is in good condition, this also means that your car’s alternator has probably.
You may have many reasons your alternator is not charging properly. More information can be found in the article Alternator failure causes.
6. Another Electric Failure
A lack of voltage in an electric component can lead to many issues. As you know, cars today have thousands.
A bad alternator could cause strange symptoms, including low voltage. You should check your alternator immediately if it seems like you car has been haunted.
You will find the alternator near the serpentine band at the front. It's usually found at the top of an engine but can be placed farther down.
The alternator's power comes from the serpentine-belt, while those powered by it are powered via the crankshaft pulley. It is located in the front of every engine.
Alternator Replacement Cost
The average cost to replace an alternator ranges from $200 up to $800, depending upon the vehicle model and labor costs. A $150-$400 alternator and $50-$400 labor cost.
There are many generators on the marketplace, depending on how many poles you have, what rotors you have, your operating phenomena, speed, revolutions per minute, type of coil and type of assembly.
Because of high repair costs, it is not recommended to fix an alternator. Instead, a replacement alternator should be chosen. A new alternator can cost you $150-$400 plus labor costs.
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