What to do when an Alternator fails - An introduction

An alternator is what you need when you start your engine. It is basically a generator that converts the mechanical energy into electrical energy. However, there are occasions where you would come across a few issues with your alternator and you wonder how to resolve the issues.

As we have already understood, an alternator is used to convert the mechanical energy into electrical energy and provide the electrical charges to your battery. In essence, the alternator will power almost every electrical accessory on your vehicle.
The alternator can develop a few issues and resolving a few of them should not ideally need any sort of technical expertise. If you are someone who prefers opting for the self-care than referring the case to your technician, the following scenarios would bee of much interest for you.

What does an alternator consist of?

Your car needs a constant electrical supply to run a host of its accessories. That would mean once you start your car with the help of the battery, you will need an additional source of electrical power. This is what an alternator is designed for. Once your engine starts, the alternator takes over and begins providing supply to your electrical parts.
The alternator has a belt that is connected to your crankshaft. This would make the rotor inside your alternator t rotate at high spin speed. This will cause the stator windings inside the alternator to produce an electromagnetic field. This is how the electrical energy is produced inside the alternator is supplied to the electrical parts in your vehicle. Besides powering all the electrical accessories in your vehicle, the alternator will also keep your battery in a fully charged state.

What are the significant issues that can affect an alternator?

An alternator can develop several issues. Resolving each of them may not be an easy task. However, a few of the problems identified here should help you find the exact reasons for the failure and assist you in addressing them in a better manner.
However, if you are looking for the best ever experience with the high-quality alternators, get them from https://boodmo.com/catalog/3794-alternator/ for an efficient servicing.

The ALT icon light lights up on your dashboard

This will mean the alternator is not powering your battery. An uncharged battery can cause a few issues on the proper functioning of the functions of your vehicle. This can severely affect the functioning of the accessories that rely on a charged battery and are not directly powered by the alternator.
Most of these cases can involve a failed battery. If the alternator is powering the other components but affects only the battery, check the connections to your battery or replace/repair your battery.

A damaged Belt

The alternator belt can get damaged due to a host of reasons. A couple of most common issues would include dehydration or erosion of the belt. You may need to pay a little attention to the proper servicing of your car to avoid such occurrences.


There are cases when your alternator may be overcharging your battery. This can be a dangerous situation and can cause severe malfunctioning. In some cases, this can even cause fatal incidents like battery explosions. If your battery is experiencing overcharging issues, it would be practical to get it checked by a professional technician.

No Charging Indicator

The lack of charging indicator would ideally mean you are facing an electrical disconnection. Your alternator may have been disconnected from your battery. Get it checked and rectified by an expert.

How do you know it when your alternator has gone dead?

When you face any sort of electrical issues with respect to your vehicle, you tend to blame it on the battery. This is a misconception as the battery does not have any say once your engine has started. The battery is needed only for starting your car, or the engine, and has nothing to do with the electrical applications further. It is the alternator that supplies the electrical power to all the electrical components on your vehicle.
A failure or malfunctioning of any of the electrical components should ideally indicate that your alternator is failing. Some of the indicators from this perspective can be -

Dimmed headlights

When an alternator fails, it does not power the electrical components, and this includes the headlights as well. The headlights draw the power from the battery, and thus they tend to get dimmed. Since the battery too does not get any charge from the alternator, it gets depleted of its charge, and the headlights begin to get dimmed.

Accessories get slowed down

The auto electrical parts like power windows and seats rely on the alternator for a proper functioning. The alternator supplies a proper voltage for an efficient functionality. You would observe the accessories functioning rather slowly than they are expected to when the alternator on your car dies.

Draining battery

A severe battery drain can be another indicator to a failing or failed alternator. The battery draws all the power required for the functioning of your vehicle, and thus the charge on the battery is depleted fast. Since the alternator is not working any more, the battery does not get charged.

Stalled Engine

Apart from a host of other electrical components, a few important functions related to your engine performance rely on the electrical power. With a failed alternator, these components do not receive the necessary amount of electricity. This further causes an erratic operation of the components like ignition, onboard computers and fuel systems. This can even cause your engine to stall.

Hard Cranking

hard cranking
This is yet another indicator to a failed alternator. When an alternator fails, it does not supply the battery power, and thus, when you attempt starting up the engine after it has been shut down, it fails to start. The slowly rotating starter eventually stops, and you will no longer be able to start the engine.

Get expert help to avoid unwanted situations

If you are facing any issues with respect to your alternator, make sure you opt for a piece of expert advice. They would be able to provide you with timely and quality service to achieve the best. You can even get in touch with Boodmo experts when needed.


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