A car’s alternator creates energy, feeding it to electrical components and keeping the battery charged while you drive. If this auto part fails, you might run into inconvenient or dangerous problems. Here are several symptoms of alternator issues to help you restore your vehicle’s functionality.

How to Tell If Your Alternator Is Failing 

1. Engine Trouble

If your car has problems starting, the alternator could be to blame. When the device malfunctions, the spark plugs may not receive enough power to ignite the air/fuel mixture in the combustion chamber, preventing the engine from starting or causing it to stall.

Stalling while driving can be dangerous, so secure prompt service if you experience this.

2. Dying Battery 

auto partsA failing alternator won’t charge the battery to the extent needed to start and operate the car. As a result, the battery might appear dead when it’s new and undamaged.

If you put a new battery on your car and it dies before three to five years, the alternator could be to blame.

3. Faulty Electrical Systems

Since the alternator supplies power to your car’s electrical components, problems with this auto part can cause electrical problems.

For example, the headlights, radio, dashboard lights, or windshield wipers could dim, flicker, or stop working randomly. If your battery is in working order and you experience these issues, a mechanic will check the alternator.

4. Odd Noises

An alternator could make grinding or rattling noises when its bearing wears down. If it charges incorrectly, you might notice a whining sound.

These noises can point to issues with other auto parts, such as the brakes and engine, but if you notice any of the signs mentioned above, the alternator might be the culprit.


If you experience car problems, trust the experienced auto mechanics at M & R Automotive Service Center in Geneseo, NY. With over 29 years of experience, they provide top-quality diagnostic and repair services to drivers around Livingston County. If your engine stalls or doesn’t start, they offer towing to get you to their shop safely. Learn more about their work online, and call (585) 243-1201 to schedule an appointment.