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Is There an Easy Way to Tell that Your Alternator Is Bad?

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When your alternator is bad, that’s eventually going to affect your car’s battery. If you can spot a bad alternator before it does impact your battery, you can save yourself a lot of time and money. Here are some tips from Star Motors European.

You’re Smelling Hot Electrical Smells

A bad alternator means that there are going to be problems in your car’s electrical system. What that means can vary, but something you might experience could be some hot electrical smells. You might smell those in the passenger cabin or near the hood while the car is running.

Accessories Are Having Trouble

When you plug in accessories, they’re running on alternator power. If the alternator is having trouble, those accessories might start to have trouble or they might not function at all. The problem might seem to be in those devices instead, though. As the problem gets worse with the alternator, it also becomes a little more obvious.

There Are Some Weird Sounds When the Alternator Is Under Load

It might not be obvious at first when you turn the car on that there’s an issue anywhere. Where you might start to notice issues, however, is when you put more of a load on the alternator. When you crank up the heat or AC, turn on the bright lights, and turn on some other accessories, you might hear the alternator start to make some whining noises. That’s a sign that the alternator is struggling.

You’re Seeing a Warning Light on the Dashboard

Any time you’ve got a warning light on your car’s dashboard, that’s a sign to pay attention. The light for your European car’s alternator might be ALT, GEN, or even a drawing of a battery. Whichever light you’re seeing, you shouldn’t ignore it because the problem is going to worsen.

Your Car’s Battery Is Toast

The worst-case scenario is that your alternator has been having trouble for a while and it has killed the battery without giving you many signs that it was going bad. You might discover this because you’re trying to start your car and the battery is totally dead. Lots of times car owners think it’s only the battery at this stage, but it’s highly likely that the problem is with both the battery and the alternator.

Don’t let your alternator trouble get worse. Contact Star Motors European in San Juan Capistrano, CA and set up an appointment to have your alternator tested. We’ll confirm what exactly is going on and help you to know what to do next.

Photo by Nottpossible from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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