Keeping your VW’s alternator in good condition is essential to the battery and the electrical system. Your car’s engine would not be able to operate without the alternator. By exploring how the alternator works, as well as some of the warning signs that your vehicle’s alternator needs maintenance, you might spare yourself from paying for some expensive repair work. If you notice any problems with your vehicle, the best strategy is to schedule a maintenance visit with a dependable mechanic at Collins Automotive.
What Does an Alternator Do?
The alternator generates the majority of the electricity in your vehicle. It creates the electrical energy on which your car is able to run. The alternator is responsible for powering parts of your vehicle that are either essential or secondary components. The headlights, engine fan, air conditioning, and radio are all powered by this crucial auto part. The battery in your vehicle is dependent on the alternator to function properly. If the alternator fails, the battery and the electrical system will soon follow.
Indications of a Failing Alternator
The best way to prevent an alternator failure is to know which signs may indicate that your car’s alternator needs work. One sign that the alternator may not be functioning optimally is when your headlights are dimmer than usual. Another sign could be a heated seat that no longer heats up as it usually does. If the radio stops working immediately prior to the lights suddenly dimming, you should take your vehicle to a mechanic. You may need to have your alternator replaced.
You might observe a variety of other signs that may indicate a malfunctioning alternator. Some drivers hear certain noises when their alternators are failing. Such noises may include grinding, whining, or a rumbling sound that resembles a growl. These strange sounds may be a sign that the bearings in the alternator are worn.
An unusual odor is another indication that something might be amiss in regard to your alternator. One smell to be aware of is the odor of an electrical fire. Another odor to pay attention to is the scent of burning rubber. If you notice either of these smells, you should schedule a maintenance appointment as soon as possible.
The most obvious sign that you should have the alternator checked is the warning light on your vehicle’s dashboard. This light is typically designed in the shape of a battery. The light may also be accompanied by the letters, “ALT” or “GEN,” which stand for “alternator” or “generator.” If this light starts to flicker, or if you see it lighting up when various electrical items (such as the radio or headlights) are in use, the alternator may have a problem.
Pay Attention to the Warning Indications
If you want to avoid expensive repairs, take your Volkswagen in for a maintenance check when you suspect trouble. A Collins technician can inspect the alternator to see if it is working properly. You can fill out our free quote form to get started now.
Family Owned Auto Shop, Serving Abbotsford, BC and surrounding area since 1993
Does your car need service? Click here for a free quote!