Three common causes of charging system failures

The alternator plays an important role in our car. Recently, some drivers have asked our automotive engineer, what are the symptoms if my alternator has failed? The following is our answer.

The alternator is the main power supply of the car, its function is to charge the battery and supply the power to the electrical devices (except starter motor) in the normal operation of the engine (above idle speed). On the basis of the three-phase stator windings of the common alternator(AC), the number of turns of the winding is increased and the wiring heads are drawn.  However, when the car is at high speed, it will be output by the original three-phase winding only. We've summarized three common causes of charging system failures as your reference.

Dim headlights 

The alternator is part of your vehicle's electrical system. Its main role is to provide power in your car to operate starting, ignition and all electronic accessories. If the alternator starts to fail, you may notice your headlights or dashboard lights starting to dim. Once the instrument lights or headlights are dim, it is a clear sign of a potential alternator failureThe performance of alternator in decline may result in other electronic accessories operating more slowly than usual, such as power windows or power seats.


Warning lights

Most modern cars have a reminder for you when a alternator warning lights flash in a dashboard. Normally, the light is shaped like a battery, but some people might say ALT or GEN. This lamp may only light up if you are using more than one electrical component. 


Battery failure

A car battery has a finite life and does not last forever. As a device to supplement your car battery, the battery can only be charged up to the point where it has a decent amount of charge remaining in its life. If the battery is indeed weak or dead, the alternator cannot bring it to life. To solve this problem is to tell if the alternator or battery has a faulty, just take the battery and restart the vehicle. If the vehicle is hard to charge the battery after starting, the problem may be related to the alternator.

Alternator belt

The belt works together with the alternator. If the belt does not rotate freely, excess friction will cause the belt to heat up, which will produce a smell of burning rubber. If you notice a smell like an electrical fire, it may indicate the alternator pulley on the belt is slipping, causing a poor alternator output. If this happens, fastening the alternator belt does not solve the problems, it is recommended your alternator evaluation be checked by a mechanic.

James Smith        October 04, 2020

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