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Car encyclopedia

Alternator

The alternator produces the electrical power needed to recharge the battery and power the vehicle’s electrical system while the engine is running.

Symptoms of Wear or Failure

  • Battery warning light may illuminate
  • Engine stalls while driving due to loss of electrical power
  • Dimming of the dashboard and head lights
  • Problems starting the vehicle
  • Repeated need to jump start the vehicle due to dead battery
  • Abnormal noise

Related Repair Advice

  • The entire starting and charging system should be inspected before replacing the alternator to eliminate other problems that may be affecting the alternator's performance. For instance, a weak battery and/or battery cables can result in a failed alternator test.
  • The alternator belt may be partially or totally removed while replacing the alternator, so if it shows signs of wear, this is a good time to replace it

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