5 warning signs that your alternator could soon fail

Whether you’re cruising the roads in your car, racing the trails on your ATV or plowing fields on your tractor, you need a reliable alternator that gets you where you’re going. A dead alternator will stop you in your tracks. Of course, no alternator will last forever. But before your alternator fails entirely, there are several warning signs that should concern you. Replacing your alternator before it totally dies is a wise move. If you experience any of these signs, get the condition of your alternator checked.

  • #1 Lighting Malfunctions When an alternator begins to weaken, it won’t keep a battery charged like it should. Less battery power means less capacity to power lights, everything from headlights, interior lights and accessory lights. If any of your lights become dim or start to flicker, check out your alternator as a possible cause.
  • #2 Erratic Electrical Operations If anything that relies on electric begins to act odd, take note. Problems could range from the radio going off and on to power accessories such as windows and seats glitching. When an alternator starts to die, it won’t produce enough power to keep all electrical system components operating at full capacity. Without adequate power, certain electronics may experience intermittent interruptions.
  • #3 Starting or Stalling Problems When you have to turn the ignition key a few times before your vehicle starts, it may be because the spark plugs are not receiving the power they need. Random stalling is another symptom of an alternator in decline. Fuel injection systems need sufficient power to operate. If you’re experiencing these problems, you’ll want to evaluate the condition of your alternator as one possible cause.
  • #4 Burning Odors Burning odors could take one of two forms, either an odor that smells like rubber burning or an electrical fire. If you detect either of these smells, consider the alternator as a possible cause.
  • #5 Dead Battery A battery will lose its charge when the alternator fails to recharge it. This isn’t an early warning sign, but rather the consequence of ultimate failure. Yet if you find yourself replacing the battery, you may also find yourself replacing the alternator.

Of course, all of these symptoms could have several causes other than the alternator. But if you are experiencing any of these problems, you should investigate the cause before it results in a total breakdown. It’s better to handle these issues on your schedule rather than at the most inconvenient time. With any of these symptoms, evaluating the performance of your alternator should be on your investigative checklist. If you need a new alternator, DB Electrical offers one of the most extensive lines for many types of vehicles.