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The alternator in your vehicle provides electrical power while the engine is running. It also recharges the battery that brings your engine to life. Without an alternator the battery will quickly drain leaving you and your wheels dead in the water.

Alternator Symptoms

Telltale signs of alternator issues include dash lights that flash momentarily; dimmed or dimming headlights; and flickering gauges. There may even be an odd smell (of burning rubber or hot wires) and/or a growling sound beneath your hood.

Most 21st century vehicle dashboards have instruments clusters that carry warning lights, one of which is an ALT light (short for alternator). At the outset of alternator problems, the ALT light may flicker or light up only when accessories are used.

If you ask your vehicle to multitask—to run headlights, wiper blades, the radio, heated seats and the like all at once—your alternator has to work harder to keep you supplied with the electricity you need to do all that. When your alternator isn’t working properly, or you’re asking too much of it, it may signal your vehicle to put on the warning light. Dim and extremely-bright headlights frequently indicate an alternator that is going south on you. Accessories that begin to misbehave are another stark symptom that all is not well with your alternator.

Here at G&J Auto Center, our AAA-approved for total car care, ASE-certified master mechanics can investigate the symptoms and signs and fix whatever is ailing your car, truck or minivan.

So if you have a sense that your alternator is going out on you, give us a call—our goal is your complete satisfaction and all of our work comes with a 24-month, 24,000-mile warranty.