The alternator is a very important part of your European automobile’s electrical system. Without an alternator, the battery cannot be recharged and your accessories and spark plugs cannot be powered. On average, your alternator will last about seven years. After that, East Coast EuroWerks warns that you may experience one or more of the following signs of alternator trouble, that could mean your alternator is dying.
As we mentioned, the alternator powers the accessories. In other words, your power seats and power windows get their power from the alternator. Your entertainment system and navigation system also get their power from the alternator. If the alternator is dying, these accessories will act up or refuse to work at all.
Because the alternator charges the battery, you will have battery problems if the alternator isn’t working. You’ll end up with a dead battery that cannot be restarted with a jump-start. You may get your car going, but as soon as the battery discharges, it will die again because the alternator is not repowering it.
One very common sign that the alternator is dying is dim lights. The interior and exterior lights will not be as bright as normal, and this could be a problem with the alternator or the battery. You may also notice that your interior lights are also dimmer.
If the spark plugs are not getting the power they need, this can cause them to misfire or not fire at all. Without firing spark plugs, you won’t be able to get your engine running or keep it running. Consequently, if you do get your engine running, it may stall frequently because of the bad alternator.
Sometimes the alternator will give you an auditory warning that it is dying. If you hear growling coming from your engine, it’s possible that the internal mechanisms that power the alternator are wearing down and grinding against each other. The alternator is attached to the accessory belt to help it generate voltage. Whining suggests that the belt is too loose.
Finally, your dashboard will let you know if the alternator is having a hard time. Newer cars have a battery-shaped light that comes on if there is a problem with the battery or the alternator. Some cars also have a light that spells ALT or GEN. Either of these lights point to problems with the alternator.
East Coast EuroWerks in Wilmington, NC, would be happy to test your alternator if you suspect it’s going bad. Call us today.