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How Do I Know If I Have a Bad Alternator? Part Two

If you knew that the alternator in your car was about to give out on you, you would probably get it to the mechanic and have it fixed. The alternator is responsible for recharging the battery while the engine is running. Without the alternator, the battery in the engine would eventually become drained and the car would not run. The sound of a clicking engine when you try to start the car as you head off to work is something that many people are familiar with. The good news is that it does not take a crystal ball to tell if an alternator is going bad. There are a few simple tests and signs that give car owners the warning they need.

How to Test the Alternator

If you notice the gauges in your car start to fluctuate wildly, it is a sign that there is a problem with your electrical system and that could be caused by the alternator going bad. The warning lights going on and off are also a sign. When you see something like this happening, consider performing these two tests to find out if it is time to replace the alternator.

  1. When the car is parked, enlist the help of another person. One person is in the car and the other person is in front of the car watching the headlights. Start the car and when it is in park, push down on the accelerator. If the person in front of the car notices the headlights flickering, becoming dim, or getting brighter, there may be a problem with the alternator. It is time to take it to get tested.
  2. The second test is the battery test. Open the hood of the car. Start the car and as the engine is running remove the negative cable of the battery. If the car stalls or stops running, the alternator may be going bad. Take it and get it tested.

A good mechanic or many auto shops can test an alternator.

People that need more information about the alternator and other car questions can contact Lorentz Automotive and get the answers they need.


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