Your vehicle's alternator is a machine that charges and replenishes the vehicle battery. Similar to having to replace your battery eventually, you're going to have to get a new alternator too. You will start to notice various warning signs when an alternator is on its last leg. If you pay attention to these indications and head to a mechanic beforehand, you're less likely to become stranded down the road.
One obvious sign that you need alternator repair is if your vehicle suddenly becomes tough to start.
Another symptom that you may need a new alternator is when your accessory lights become dim. Accessory lighting includes the ones on your dashboard, dome light, headlights, and clock/radio. If they dim or malfunction when starting up or accelerating your vehicle, your alternator may be pushing its limits.
Any unusual noises coming from under the hood can also signify that you are experiencing alternator issues. A whining sound can be the voltage regulator making the alternator charge more than it should be. It may also make a weird sound if the alternator is not sending enough electricity to the battery.
In the worst scenarios, a faulty alternator can generate a strong burning rubber smell. If you catch this scent, you should take your vehicle to an auto repair shop immediately!
It can sometimes be troubling to differentiate the need for a battery repair vs. alternator repair. It's important to note that if your battery seems to be in good shape but still needs to be jump-started more than three to four times a week, it could be your alternator that's the problem.
To be 100% certain of what problems you may be experiencing with your vehicle, we recommend you come in for an inspection at Folsom Automotive Services. Our ASE-certified techs are prepared, trained, and experienced to examine your vehicle and offer you the right solution to get you back on the road again. We invite you to our shop in Folsom, CA, today! Please give us a call at (916) 500-7974 if you have any questions or concerns relating to your alternator or battery.