A dead battery isn’t necessarily a problem with the battery; it could be your European automobile’s alternator. The alternator is tasked with keeping the battery charged, and it can’t do its job if it’s going bad. A bad alternator means a dead battery regardless of the battery’s health. 610AutoHaus lists six signs that you’ve got a bad or dead alternator.
1. Light Problems
Your battery discharges while you drive. The alternator takes power discharging from the battery and routes it back into it, so it’s always charged. If the machine cannot charge the battery while your vehicle is in motion, you will notice that your headlights and interior lights will start to dim.
2. Battery Trouble
As we mentioned above, your battery will die if the alternator isn’t charging it. Signs of a weakened battery include the dim lights mentioned above, slowed down power accessories (such as the power windows), and difficulty starting your car. Power fading as you drive suggests problems.
3. Strange Odors
The alternator uses the serpentine belt to create friction and generate power. Too much friction or slipping from the pulley will overheat the belt, and you’ll smell burning rubber or electrical fire odors. Sometimes, tightening the serpentine belt will restore the proper function.
4. Strange Sounds
Alongside the serpentine belt, the alternator also uses internal parts that spin to produce power. These parts wear down over time; it’s unavoidable with any mechanical part. Once they begin to wear down, you might hear grinding or whining. This is a sign that the bushings have gone bad.
5. Loose Belt
As we mentioned above, the serpentine belt can loosen after years of spinning. There are other belts connected, too. Turn on your engine and pop the hood. Look at the alternator to see if any of the belts are too loose or too tight. Turn off the engine and look for cracks and wear, too.
6. Dashboard Warning
Unless you drive a classic, your vehicle has dashboard warning lights that come on if there is a problem. The dashboard warning light for the alternator is either battery-shaped, the “ALT,” or the “GEN” light. This light will come on if there is an issue with the electrical system.
Let Us Check Your Alternator Today!
Give 610AutoHaus in Pottstown, PA, a call if you think your European automobile is having trouble. We’ll test it and the battery and let you know what’s going on.