Users' questions

Why would a new alternator go bad?

Why would a new alternator go bad?

There are a few issues that could make the alternator go bad, such as jump-starting the car the wrong way or installing an accessory that overloads it. Leaking fluid in the alternator or a tight belt can also cause damage to the alternator bearings, causing premature wearing.

Can a brand new alternator be faulty?

There are only a few ways an alternator can go bad, but they tend to happen suddenly without a lot of warning. Besides not charging the battery, this can also throw the serpentine drive belt, causing overheating.

How long should an alternator last in a new car?

The average longevity of an alternator is seven years or about 150,000 miles. Several factors can impact the lifespan of your alternator, including the quality of the part, the overall condition of the vehicle, and how many electronics are being used.

Can a car run with a bad alternator?

Can a car run with a bad alternator? A car can only run for a short time with a failed alternator. The alternator charges the battery when the engine is running and, once the battery is depleted, the vehicle will die and fail to restart.

What can kill a new alternator?

Running in full charge mode continuously can kill an alternator, so trying to have your new alternator try and charge your dead battery can result in immediate alternator failure.

Do alternators fail suddenly?

The alternator is a key component in running the electrical systems in your car. When your alternator begins to fail it can cause a variety of different electrical problems in your car, and eventually cause a breakdown. Alternators can go bad suddenly, or slowly over time.

What happens when an alternator goes out while driving?

If your alternator goes out – your car isn’t going anywhere fast. Because your alternator charges your car’s battery, without it, you won’t be able to start your car, which means you’ll need a tow to the mechanic. When you have a dead alternator, your battery will also die during normal use. A dead battery again.

What are the signs an alternator is going out?

Lights that are dim across the dashboard are also indications of a problem. Both flickering and dimming are strong indications that your alternator is no longer capable of generating adequate power. A battery that seems to be weak or has died may mean your alternator is going bad as well.

How long can you drive with a bad alternator?

How long can you drive a car with a bad alternator? The answer is as long as your battery has power still stored. Once your alternator has stopped working, your vehicle starts to take the energy it needs from the vehicle’s battery.

What should I do if my alternator does not work?

In these cases, your alternator would fail and your battery would not charge. If you have a bad alternator, look in the owner’s manual to see where the alternator fuse is in your car and check to see if it is blown. Alternators use the mechanical power of a belt and pulley to generate the electrical energy for the vehicle.

What does it mean when your alternator stops charging the battery?

Indicator Light On. Usually, the first sign that your charging system is in trouble is a “battery,” “ALT,” or “CHARGE” warning light illuminating on your instrument panel while driving. It means that for some reason, the alternator has stopped charging the battery and your car is running on battery power.

Can a bad alternator cause a dead battery?

A bad alternator can cause a dead battery and other problems with vehicle systems like the stereo and power windows. But there’s good news here, because even an automotive novice can watch a video or two and figure out how to change their own alternator.

Is it a case of your alternator being possessed?

Is this a case of your auto being possessed? No. Most likely it’s one of many possible alternator problems, and without some attention, the alternator can cause car trouble ranging from slow starts all the way up to a dead car.

What happens when the alternator on a car goes bad?

As mentioned earlier, the alternator charges the battery while it supplies the rest of the car with electricity. If the alternator is starting to go bad, it cannot charge the battery as efficiently. The battery then doesn’t store enough power for starting the car.

How often does an alternator need to be replaced?

The typical lifespan of a new alternator should be between 5 and 8 years. If it has been that long and you have electrical issues, then your alternator may simply be worn out and needs to be replaced. If you think it could be your battery that is at fault, the typical lifespan of a battery is between 2 and 5 years.

What does it mean when your alternator makes a noise?

The noise usually indicates bad bearings inside the alternator. Your car contains an array of electronics, all of which rely on charging system voltage. As such, a bad alternator can cause a myriad of electrical issues, especially on modern, computer-controlled vehicles.

What should my alternator reading be when I start the car?

Once you’ve determined that the battery has a proper charge, start the vehicle and increase engine speed to around 1,500-2000 RPM. If the alternator is charging, generally, the reading on your meter should be around 13.5 to 15.0 volts with all of the lights and accessories turned off.