It is easy for a mechanic to tell you that your alternator is bad and that it will cost several hundred dollars to repair it. Before you turn over the money and tell the mechanic to do the job, you may want to find out if the mechanic is telling the truth or if your alternator is actually working the way that it is supposed to. It does not take a degree in auto mechanics to learn how to tell if an alternator is bad, and you do not have to know how to actually replace it yourself. You just have to know what to look for.
Signs of a Bad Alternator
The first sign that the alternator may be bad is the easiest to tell. The car won’t start. The alternator is responsible for recharging the battery in the car while the engine is running. If it is not working, the battery will be drained and that means the car will not start. If you try to start your car and all you hear is a clicking sound, the alternator is one of the possible culprits. The only problem is that the reason the car is not starting could be because of the battery.
If it is the alternator, you will have a difficult time jump starting the car. The battery will not be recharged unless the alternator is working so the car will not be able to run for any period of time if it is able to be started. If the battery is the culprit, you can jumpstart the car and by running it for a period of time, the battery will be recharged.
The only way to actually find out if an alternator is bad is to have it tested. This can be done by a mechanic or even at some auto parts stores. The test requires a piece of equipment and some time. It is the most accurate way to tell when the alternator is bad.
To learn more about an alternator and other parts of a car, contact Lorentz Automotive.