So, there you are, driving your car and it begins to rain. You turn on your windshield wipers. You notice your check engine or ALT light go on. You continue to drive. The rain stops and you turn off your windshield wipers. You look down and notice that the check engine or ALT light has gone off. Many of us would just count this incident as a fluke and ignore it. However, you should be asking yourself, “Is my alternator starting to fail?”

Flickering Lights

When the alternator in your vehicle begins to go, you may notice that your interior and exterior lights my flicker or dim. It is usually not an electrical wiring problem when you notice that the lights act up as you are demanding more electricity from your vehicle. This added draw of electricity can be caused by turning on the radio, windshield wipers or rolling down power windows.

Frequent Trouble Starting Your Engine (or keeping it running)

One of the first signs of a failing alternator is having trouble starting your engine or once started, keeping it going. The alternator is becoming so impaired, it is not able to keep your battery optimally charged. It’s time to have your alternator checked.

What’s That Smell?

Sometimes you will smell the alternator failing before you notice other symptoms. The smell is generally like an electrical, burning odor. It is different from burning rubber. Regardless of the cause, any unusual smells need to be addressed immediately.

Slow Accessories

Have you noticed that your power windows are sluggish to react? Are your electronics frequently malfunctioning and shutting off? It is not just a matter of one operating system going awry. A red flag should go up when several systems are acting up at the same time. It is time to have your alternator checked!

If you have to ask yourself¬† “Is my alternator starting to fail?”, it definitely time to get it checked out. Give the automotive experts at Southside Auto a call with further questions about how to maintain a smooth running and reliable vehicle.

Happy Travels!

Southside Auto and Repair