What is an alternator?
Your vehicle’s alternator is responsible for charging your battery and supplying power to the various electrical systems within your vehicle. If you open up the hood of your car, you’ll be able to locate your alternator. It is attached to your engine and is driven by a serpentine belt (aka: ‘drive belt’).
Typically, an alternator will last anywhere from five to twelve years before needing repairs. It’s important to fix your alternator because if it stops working, your car will only continue to operate until your vehicle’s battery dies.
Symptoms of Alternator Failure
When you first turn your vehicle on, you may notice a light appear on your driver’s panel. Depending on your model/style of vehicle, this may be a battery-shaped warning light or a text image that reads, “charge”. If your vehicle is functioning normally, this warning light will disappear soon after you start your car. However, if you notice that it is still on after you’ve started driving, it may be indicative of a bigger issue with your vehicle’s charging system. You may need to replace or fix your alternator.
To rule out any potential issues with your alternator or other mechanical problems, it is in your best interest to bring your car in for an appointment with one of our ASE certified mechanics. We’ll be able to troubleshoot the issue and determine whether or not there is, in fact, a defect or larger problem with your charging system.
One other common sign that your alternator may be failing is if you notice a significant dimming of your headlights and/or dashboard lights when you’re idling at a stopped position and then a changeover to brighter lights once you’re vehicle is moving.
Your vehicle’s alternator may be failing if:
#1 – Your experience other electrical failures.
Electrical failures can include anything from power windows that won’t go up or down, power locks that fail, air conditioning that doesn’t work, or issues using your radio and/or CD player.
#2 – Your car starts stalling or fails to start up right away.
Don’t just blame it on the weather or a lack of fuel. Did you know that your alternator sources power to your spark plugs, which, in turn, ignites the gasoline in your engine? If your alternator is starting to slip, this means that it may not have enough power to cause the chain reactions necessary to start your engine. Be especially wary if your car suddenly stalls out for no reason. This could be a clear sign an alternator fix is required.
#3 – Your Battery dies.
Batteries have a shelf life, it’s true. However, a failing or bad alternator can drain the energy from your battery because it’s no longer re-charging it.
#4 – You hear weird noises coming from your car.
You have numerous bearings in your vehicle. When your alternator starts to fail, it can cause some of those bearings to come loose or fail, which can create weird, rattling or roaring noises.
If you notice any of these signs you may need to fix your alternator. The experts at USA auto can inspect your vehicle and fix your alternator or recommend other options.
At USA Automotive, we treat your vehicle as if it was one of our own. We also aim to educate customers so that they can make the most informed decision regarding the overall performance of their vehicle as well as what parts may be needed.
Our full service auto repair center is also home to the 3 year / 36,000 mile Warranty. Combined with our environmentally friendly service, latest, advanced technological equipment, and our ASE certified technicians – we invite you to stop by or call today to see why customers choose us time and again as their top choice for alternator repair and installation in Raleigh, NC. (919) 249-5295.
We’re proud to serve residents and commuters in the following zip codes of Raleigh 27616, 27609, 27615, 27612, 27603, & 27608
How Can We Help You?