Signs Of A Bad Alternator Vs A Bad Battery

If you’re wondering whether you have a bad alternator or a bad battery, then you’ve found the right article! In this article, you’ll learn about the 7 different signs of a bad alternator and the 11 different signs of a bad battery.

You’ll also learn what to do depending on which one you’re dealing with! So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

What Are The Signs Of A Bad Alternator

First of all, here are the signs of a bad alternator! Remember, just that sometimes a sign of a bad alternator can also be the sign of a bad battery as well! So make sure you’re looking for multiple signs where possible.

Engine Stalling or Not Starting

A bad alternator can prevent a car’s battery from being charged and cause the engine to stall or not start at all. If your car’s engine is stalling or having difficulty starting, it could be due to a failing alternator.

Burning Smell

A burning rubber or electrical smell coming from under the hood of your car is one of the most common signs of a bad alternator. This could be caused by frayed belts, a broken voltage regulator, or other failing components in the alternator.

Dashboard Warning Lights

If your dashboard warning lights come on while driving, it could be an indication that your alternator is failing. Warning lights such as the battery light, charging system light, or engine light could indicate a problem with the alternator.

Unusual Sounds

If your alternator is starting to fail, it could make a loud whining or grinding sound. The noise may stop when the car’s engine is off, but will generally come back if you turn the car on again.

Electrical Issues

Alternators are responsible for providing power to the car’s electrical components, and if it’s not working properly, these components will not function correctly.

Lighting Is Either Dim Or Overly Bright

When the alternator is not working properly, it may cause the lights in the car to either be overly bright or appear dim. This is because it may be undercharging or overcharging your battery.

Diminished Battery Life

An alternator that isn’t working correctly will also fail to charge the car’s battery, and lead to it wearing down faster than normal. If your battery is draining quickly, you may need a new alternator.

new car alternator, close-up view

What To Do About A Bad Alternator

If you are experiencing any of the signs above, it’s important to take your car to a certified mechanic right away. A bad alternator can quickly lead to further damage to your vehicle and should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

What Are The Signs Of A Bad Battery

Now that you know about the signs of a bad alternator, here are the signs that you should look for to check whether your battery is bad or not

The Battery Is Old

If your battery is over 3 years old, it’s best to have it tested as even a small amount of corrosion can lead to big problems.

Corrosion On The Battery Connectors And Terminals

If you see corrosion on the terminals and connectors of your battery, this is a sign that your battery is no longer working properly and needs to be replaced.

Swelling Of The Battery Case

Another symptom of a dying battery is if the case of the battery swells up. This can be caused by overcharging or extreme temperatures.

The Car Can’t Hold A Charge For Long

If your car is having difficulty starting and holding a charge for long periods of time, this could be an indication that the battery is dead or dying.

Strange Noises From The Battery

If you hear clicking noises coming from your battery, this could also be another sign that it’s not working properly and needs to be replaced.

You Can Smell Rotten Eggs

If you smell rotten eggs coming from the battery, this is a sign that it’s leaking hydrogen sulfide gas and should be replaced immediately.

The Engine Struggles To Turn Over Or Won’t Turn On

If your engine struggles to turn over or won’t turn on at all, this could be due to a bad battery and should be replaced.

Your Radio Wont Turn On

If your radio doesn’t turn on when you start your car, it could be a sign that the battery is dead or dying and needs to be replaced.

The Lights Are Dimmer Than Usual

If the lights in your car are dimmer than usual, this could mean that the battery is low on power and needs to be replaced.

Some Electrical Accessories Not Working Properly

If some of the electrical accessories in your car are not working properly, this could also be a sign that your battery needs to be replaced.

The Battery Is Leaking

A leaking battery is another symptom of a bad battery and should never be ignored as it can cause serious damage to your vehicle. If you notice any signs of a bad alternator or battery, it’s best to have it looked at by a professional as soon as possible.

Remember, the signs of a bad alternator vs battery can sometimes overlap and make it difficult to determine which one is causing the issue. It’s always best to consult with a trained mechanic for a proper diagnosis to ensure your car is in top condition.

What To Do About A Bad Car Battery?

If you suspect that your car battery is failing, it’s important to have it tested and replaced as soon as possible to avoid any potential damage or further complications. A trained mechanic will be able to test the battery for any signs of wear and tear and advise you on the best course of action.

Fortunately, with proper maintenance, you can extend the life of your car battery and ensure that it’s in top condition.

So regularly check the battery terminals and connectors for any signs of corrosion, swelling, or leaking, and keep an eye out for any strange noises or odours coming from the battery.

How To Check Whether The Alternator Or Battery Is Bad?

If you suspect that your alternator or battery is bad, it’s important to have it tested as soon as possible. You can check the voltage of both the battery and alternator with a voltmeter to determine which one is failing.

You can also do a visual inspection of both components for any signs of wear and tear. Signs of a bad alternator can include burnt wiring, loose or broken parts, or any other visible damage.

Recap

Signs of a bad alternator vs. battery can sometimes be difficult to distinguish, so it’s important to have them checked by a trained mechanic for a proper diagnosis.

Signs of a bad car battery can include swelling, strange noises, or an inability to hold a charge. Signs of a bad alternator can include burnt wiring and broken parts.

To ensure the best performance of your vehicle, make sure to regularly check both the battery and alternator for any signs of wear and tear.

If you suspect that either component is failing, it’s important to have it tested and replaced as soon as possible. With proper maintenance, you can extend the life of your car battery and ensure that it’s in top condition.

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