Starting Problems? Is it the Battery or the Alternator?

The vehicle may not start because of a dead or dying battery, loose cables, a bad alternator, or a problem with the starter. Sometimes it's difficult to tell if the problem is with the battery or the alternator. Below is a guide to figuring out which one is at fault:

Telltale Signs Of A Dead Battery

Even when the engine is off, the battery is still critical to the operation of the vehicle; it is responsible for powering the ignition and electrical systems. However, it has a limited capability of holding a charge, so it is recharged by the alternator while driving. A good car battery should last between four and five years. Rusting can reduce the ability of a battery to hold a charge properly over time, which will eventually cause the battery to malfunction. The following indicators may indicate the battery may be the issue:

  • When starting your automobile, you hear a low whine sound.
  • The engine responds slowly.
  • When you start the car, the dash or headlights are dim
  • When your engine starts running after being jump-started but does not restart after being turned off
  • The battery has corrosion

Signs Alternator May Need Repair

During regular operation, your car's alternator charges your car's battery and maintains its charge. The alternator lasts between eight and twelve years. A faulty alternator can also lead to a defective battery. A malfunctioning alternator will exhibit these symptoms:

  • Low battery voltage
  • Screaming or growling sounds
  • An overheated alternator causes a burning smell
  • Dimming of the dashboard lights
  • Problems with the car's electrical system

Do The Test

You'll need jumper cables if your engine refuses to start or takes longer than usual. It's possible that a bad battery is causing your engine to run but not start later. When your vehicle suddenly stalls, you'll need an alternator replacement.

What To Do?

The alternator and battery are closely related. To prevent an accident, make sure you fix or replace any malfunctioning part of your vehicle as soon as possible. Whether you need an alternator or a battery repaired, we invite you to bring your vehicle to Elite Auto Repair today!

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