The alternator is an essential part of the engine for the proper functioning of the vehicle. The alternator is a part that is integrated into the car engine and whose function is to transform the energy produced by the gasoline engine into electrical energy. This electrical energy produced by the alternator is automatically stored in the car battery and supplies power to all the electrical parts of the vehicle. Therefore, it is important to know in which cases the car’s alternator does not work well or may have a fault that jeopardizes our driving experience.
How to detect car alternator malfunction?
The alternator always produces a type of alternating current and is composed of a magnetic field inductor, an induced conductor, as well as a voltage regulator. But what happens when the alternator stops working? Well, the electrical parts of the car also stop working. To know if your car’s alternator is failing and needs a repair, you should detect 5 signs that will help you know if the alternator is not working properly. Discover them below:
Check the alternator light
On the dashboard of your car, you will always find a small light with the drawing of a battery with the letters ALT or GEN, which correspond to the words ‘alternator’ or ‘generator’. When starting the car, this light will always come on for a short time, but if it does not, the light may simply be burned out. However, when you are driving this light should always remain off, because otherwise, it would be indicating that the alternator is experiencing a problem and you should take it to a mechanic as soon as possible.
- Take a good look at the turn signal
With the turn signal, you can also check if your car’s alternator is failing. You only need to operate the turn lever, as if you were going to turn, and if one of the lights blinks slower than the other, or if both blink at a very slow pace, this would be another sign that the alternator of your car is not working fine or is failing.
- Check other lights
Other lights on the dashboard could give you clues as to whether your car’s alternator has broken. When you see that any of these lights are somewhat dimmer, or that the headlights of the car do not respond properly, or also that the power steering of the car stops working, it is likely that you have a problem with the mechanics of your car.
- Listen to the engine
Some unusual engine noises can also be a sign that the alternator may be experiencing problems. Must pay particular attention to the noises that sound like squeaks, as this could mean that the bearings are worn alternator. Some louder squeaks are directly related to mechanical failure in the car’s timing belt. Therefore, the noise emitted by the motor is a fundamental signal to detect possible problems.
- Look at the alternator
If you open the hood of the car and look for the alternator, you can see first hand if it is experiencing any problems. If you do not know where it is, you just have to read the sticker that is attached to the front of the engine and look for the initials ALT or GEN. When you find it, you should check if the belt looks thin or worn, as well as if it has cracks, cuts, or if there are chips from the belt itself on the alternator. If you notice any of these obvious signs of wear, you should not miss it, and you should take the car to a workshop to have the belt changed as soon as possible.