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An Alternator generates electricity in a vehicle. Without a device to generate electricity, the electrical demands in a vehicle could drain a fully charged battery in a matter of hours.

It takes a lot of power to start an engine and meet all the various electrical needs of a vehicle. While different batteries can have enormous capacities, eventually the headlights, heater, air conditioner, radio, and navigation, would all drain the battery of power.

An Alternator = An Engine – Driven electric generator which produces an alternating current

An alternator charges the battery while the vehicle is running by turning mechanical energy from a spinning pulley into current. The rotor, brushes, and other internal parts of an alternator wear out over time, so replacing it will become an eventuality.

Check Engine Light – ALT or Battery Icon = Alternator Needs Attention on Most Vehicles Click To Tweet

Symptoms of Alternator Problems

Dead battery

Without a functioning alternator, the vehicle quickly uses up all of the battery’s capacity, leaving it drained. A new battery and a malfunctioning alternator will quickly leave you stranded again.

Dim lights

The symptom most drivers recognize is dim or flickering lights. This is really obvious when headlights are on at night but also noticeable with dash lights and the centre dome light. If the lights brighten as RPMs pick up, that’s even more of a sure sign that your alternator may need repairs or replacing.

Electrical Issues

Electrical vehicle equipment, like power seats or windows, might be slower to operate. Without enough power, sometimes the device will not function or will suddenly stop working, like the radio turning itself off.

Engine stalling

If the engine suddenly cuts while driving, it could be an alternator issue. Fuel injection needs a good amount of electrical power, and without it the engine quickly stalls.

Squealing / Grinding Noise

The fan belt could have stretched with age and may not be spinning the alternator pulley effectively, leading to a lack of charge. This typically results in a squealing noise. On the other hand, the internal bearings can wear out, causing a growl or grinding noise.

If you have replaced your battery and it goes flat again or it does not charge up after driving for at least 20km’s after a jump-start, it is more than likely your Alternator. Contact us to have an Engine Scan or to have your alternator repaired or replaced. We also supply batteries if you need to replace your battery.

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