How To Check If Your Alternator Is Bad – Signs And Symptoms

An alternator (AT) is that which works with the car’s battery to charge your vehicle’s electrical system. But if the alternator is bad it can affect your car’s system in many ways


There are several signs that may tell your indicator is bad. Most of them are mentioned below:

  • Flickering headlights
  • Weak or dead battery
  • Strange sound 
  • Difficulty starting your car
  • Electric failures
  • Indicator light
  • The smell of burning rubber

Flickering Headlights

If you notice that with the speed of your car headlight flicker. Such that if you increase or decrease your car’s speed and the headlight glows brighter or dimmer that means the alternator is bad. A good AT will maintain the headlight brighter no matter if the car’s speed is high or low.

Weak or dead battery

If you notice your battery is getting weak or dying that also means your AT is also bad. It’s important to know the difference between a weak battery and a bad alternator. 

Strange sound

If you hear some unusual sound. If you notice the grinding sound in your car this also indicates the alternator is getting bad. 

Difficulty starting your car

If you are getting a problem in starting the engine of the car it indicates the bad indicator. Of course, a weak or dead battery could also be a problem. Alternator’s output is commonly between 13 to 15 volts. If the AT is not good this will show the warning light. Which means it’s not working correctly and voltage go below or above from normal level

Electric failure

Since the AT is the essential wellspring of electrical force in your vehicle, electrical disappointments are signs that it is turning sour. Electric disappointments could introduce themselves in an assortment of ways. Your capacity windows could work all the more gradually. Different things that could be influenced incorporate force locks, windshield wipers, and warmed seats.

Indicator light

Almost certainly, your vehicle is outfitted with a notice marker light in the dashboard named “ALT” or “GEN.” This is frequently the primary pointer that the alternator is turning sour. Try not to overlook this marker, regardless of whether you are encountering no different indications.

Smell of burning rubber

The smell of burning rubber or scorched wires sometimes indicates the bad alternator or AT failure. The burning wire smell can be caused by an overheated AT.


  • One of the most widely recognized issues of a flawed AT is a slackened belt.
  • The diodes of the AT can turn sour, neglecting to communicate the necessary voltage. 
  • The orientation on which the alternator pivots can likewise be to blame and prevent the AT from giving an ideal presentation. 
  • In the event that there is an issue in the field voltage got by the alter AT nator, it won’t work up to its ideal potential.

Symptoms of a bad alternator

Vehicle’s charging framework will show an issue 

  • There are a couple of key indications of an awful alternator. The most widely recognized side effect is that the vehicle’s charging framework will show an issue as the battery-formed admonition light goes ahead on your dashboard. In the event that this light doesn’t come on, the “CHARGE” symbol could likewise come on while you’re driving. This admonition light commonly goes ahead when you turn the start, however, it should kill when the motor is turned over completely.
  • On the off chance that the light remains on, it is an unmistakable sign that there is an issue with your charging framework. The admonition light doesn’t legitimately demonstrate a messed up alternator, however, it is the most well-known explanation behind the light. You ought to pick a technician to do some testing on the AT and any electrical explanations behind the light going ahead while your motor is running.
  • The second side effect of a frail charging framework is if the scramble lights and headlights faint while your vehicle is sitting, yet turn more splendid while the motor is turned on. The issue could be because of a feeble AT , yet a battery that is biting the dust could likewise be the explanation.

Furthermore, if there are helpless associations with your battery terminals or a free drive belt, that could cause a feeble charging framework. A whimpering and humming clamor from the AT is another indication of difficulties and can be an indication of a boisterous AT bearing.

Bombed plates inside your vehicle

The last indication is bombed plates inside your vehicle. There are three turning plates that spread the immense space of copper wires and make the territory for the AT to deliver power. In the event that these plates fall flat, they can flop each in turn. This causes the alternator to debilitate, yet not stop totally. In the event that the plates fall flat, the force will drop the yield levels radically.

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