Signs of a Malfunctioned Alternator

Signs of a Malfunctioned Alternator

The automobile industry is a revolution for human beings. The comfort to travel from one destination to another is at its peak. But sometimes, a few issues with your car can be so frustrating. These issues can be related to the car engine, tires, car battery, etc. Here, we will discuss one of such major issues related to your car battery. Car Batteries are charged with the help of an Alternator. Well, you must be thinking about what actually is an Alternator and how an Alternator is responsible for the battery issues? Don’t worry, here is a complete guide for the Signs of a Malfunctioned Alternator.

Table Of Content

What actually is an Alternator?

Signs of a Malfunctioned Alternator


What actually is an Alternator?

As you already know that the power source for all the electronic accessories and car batteries is an engine. What happens is that inside the engine, combustion takes place at high temperatures and pressure. It helps to move the crankshaft located just along with the cylinder. 

The movement of the crankshaft at high pressure helps an Alternator to generate energy that helps to charge the battery of the car and also helps in the proper functioning of electronic accessories like radio, music system, speakers, etc. 

The Alternator consists of a coil and a magnet. These two are helpful to generate the charge that is useful to charge the battery of a vehicle.

Signs of a Malfunctioned Alternator

Now, let’s come to the point. An alternator is a very essential part of a car. But sometimes, due to overheating or any other kind of problems, alternator damages. But you don’t need to worry about it as there are many ways through which you can detect this issue. So, let’s discuss the major Symptoms of a Damaged Alternator that can help you save a few extra bucks.

Dead Battery

One of the easiest ways to identify the issue of a failing alternator is a dead battery. It can occur due to several reasons. Either, the car headlights were unknowingly remain switched on for a long time that leads to the failure of an Alternator. It can also occur if the battery of a car exceeds its life. In both these cases, the malfunctioning of an alternator prevents the battery from charging.

Improper Functioning of Electronic Accessories

If you are having trouble running your AC, Music System, Radio, or Speakers, etc. The issue can be related to the failing Alternator. As we already discussed that all these electronic accessories run through the power generated by the car battery. And if the alternator damages, these accessories won’t work properly either. So, without wasting any time, you can directly take your car to the car repair shop and fix the issue. 

But remember, this issue can be fixed at Car Repair Shops. You don’t need to take your car to Auto Body Repair shops. You can also look at the differences between Auto Body Repair and Auto Repair Shops.

Dim Headlights 

You might have noticed that sometimes the headlights of your vehicle flicker or its light intensity may get reduced. It is one of the most common reasons for an Alternator failure. It happens because the battery of the car doesn’t get charged at its full capacity.

Generally, an Alternator works at around 13 Volts to 14.5 Volts. But due to insufficient charging, the voltage reduces and leads to dim headlights.

Foul Smell

One of the main reasons that lead to the damage of an Alternator is overheating. The overheating occurs because of the high combustion rate inside the engine that is not tolerated by the Alternator. When extreme heat damages the alternator, it spreads a foul smell because of the burning of wires and rubber connected with the Alternator. So, if you ever smell something bad inside the car, it may be the reason for Malfunctioned Alternator.

Disturbing Noises

Disturbing noises from the car can be an indication of many issues. It may indicate an issue with the engine, battery, or even with the internal electronic accessories. But these noises can also be differentiated from one another. 

Basically, the crankshaft that helps in generating power to charge a battery connects to an alternator with a pulley. Due to the damage of the alternator, the pulley changes its position and produces a growling sound. Also, avoiding these unusual noises can lead to engine damage. You should know that engine damage is one of the major issues and can costs you few hundreds or even thousands of bucks. 

So, don’t avoid these noises for a healthy engine and car battery.

Warning Signal

Warning lights on the dashboard of a car indicate a low voltage of Alternator. Earlier, the alternator was also referred to as the Generator. These low voltage warning lights are a signal for a damaged Alternator. 

Loose Wiring Connections  

Sometimes, you may not see any of the above-mentioned symptoms but still, you will not be able to start your vehicle due to the dead car battery. Don’t get tensed with such an issue, it can be a simple issue of loose connections of wires attached to the alternator. The loosening of wires can stop the flow of electric current to pass through the battery. This issue can simply be resolved by the auto repair shops. 


The automotive sector has changed the way of living for humans. But, with such advancement, you also shouldn’t avoid the importance of maintenance of a car. From engine to car batteries, everything should be properly maintained. 

One thing you should understand is that these parts connect each other in some way or another. So, if you are planning to buy a Used Car Engine, the maintenance work for the car batteries also increases with it. As the power source for car batteries is through the engine of the car. 

Hopefully, you find relevant information on the Signs of a Malfunctioned Alternator. 


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