What are the symptoms of alternator failure?

What are the symptoms of alternator failure?


For your vehicle to reliably start up and cruise smoothly along, it's important that your alternator is in good health. A malfunctioning alternator can cause the battery's power reserve to become drained to the extent that you suddenly find yourself stranded. At Smith Specialty Automotive, our ASE-certified mechanics are experts at identifying and addressing alternator problems. When you first notice a symptom of alternator trouble, come and see us at our local auto shop.

Common Symptoms of Alternator Trouble

One of the most familiar signs of alternator trouble is a dead battery. When you put a new battery in your car, it should work dependably for at least three years. If it dies sooner and not for an obvious reason like leaving your headlights on, then your alternator may be failing. Another common indication of alternator trouble is an illuminated dashboard warning light that reads ALT or GEN. In some cars, this light will instead turn on in the shape of a little battery. Whenever a dashboard warning light comes on, it's important to figure out what exactly is triggering it before the issue worsens.

A bad alternator can also cause issues with electrical accessories. In modern vehicles, it's common for there to be a computer that can calculate which electrical accessories should first have their power supply reduced when an alternator issue is detected. This allows the vehicle to preserve more power for its most important electrical needs. However, this could lead to problems with accessories like power seats. Alternator failure could also cause headlights to begin flickering or dimming, which poses a significant safety concern, especially if you have to drive at night on unlit roads. A malfunctioning alternator could also pose a safety hazard if your car stalls out in traffic because not enough power is being directed to spark plugs.

Alternator Replacement & Auto Electric Repair in Olathe, KS

If you need auto repair in Olathe, contact Smith Specialty Automotive at (913) 270-1893. At our nearby auto shop, we can take care of any of your alternator or electrical system trouble. Feel free to give us a call today to make an appointment for your vehicle's repair or maintenance needs!


Smith Specialty Automotive Blog
Posted: July 13, 2021

Written and Published By MORBiZ