Bad Alternator Vs. Bad Battery

Bad Alternator Vs Bad Battery

When your vehicle refuses to start it is usually caused by one or more of the following issues:

  • Dying or dead battery
  • Loose or corroded connection cables
  • Issue with the starters
  • Bad alternator

Read on to learn how you can determine if you are dealing with an alternator issue or a battery problem.

Bad Battery Symptoms

If your engine barely cranks, and your vehicle is harder to start on cold mornings, it starts inconsistently, or there’s no interior lights or sound when you try to start, you may have a failing battery, a corroded or connection or electrical draw. A low battery with visible corrosion on the terminal(s)

If jumpstarting works, then you know you’ve got a battery problem. But you also need to figure out whether it’s simply at the end of its life or there are underlying issues. A dead or low battery can be caused by a failing alternator. It can also result from additional draw from sound systems, alarms, auxiliary lights, fuses, and such.

Bad Alternator Symptoms

Some of the symptoms are:

  • No-starting and trouble starting
  • Dimming lights
  • Problems with stereo system output
  • If your car starts but stalls when you’re underway
  • A squealing sound coming from the engine that gets louder when power drains like the sound system or heater are on may be your alternator bearings

If your vehicle then will not crank or start but the headlight still come on, it may be other engine problems.

The Role Of The Battery And Alternator

A battery supplies a big electric charge that travels through the starter .. Once the car has started, the alternator sends current back to recharge the battery as you drive. It supplies power for your car’s electrics when you’re underway and makes sure the right amount of charge heads back to the battery.

Car Not Starting

If you’re not wanting to do your own diagnostics,  and take it in for a technician to check your electrical system. Both the starting and charging systems should be inspected.Battery checks on standard wet-cell batteries should include the posts for corrosion, inspection of the fluid levels and cables for no corrosion and snug connection.

An electronic battery test should be done, which gives more information than a standard load test. It measures the voltage and cold cranking amps (CCA). The shop should check the electrical currents and look to see if you need an alternator with a higher capacity.

Got a Bad Alternator?

It may have damaged your battery. Since the alternator regulates how much electric current gets fed back to the battery during recharging, the battery may have overheated due to overcharging. This shortens its expected life and can make it unreliable. Ask whether you need a replacement if you’re having alternator repairs done.If it’s your battery that’s bad, it won’t damage the alternator.

Schedule Battery And Alternator Replacement In Scottsdale

In addition to being a full-service gas station, we employee ASE Certified mechanics that work on imports and domestic vehicles alike.  When you need a new battery or alternator replaced our team is here to help!  Conveniently located in Scottsdale we can tend to nearly any vehicle repair or maintenance need.  Stop by Bridwell Auto Center located at 7171 E Lincoln Dr. Scottsdale, Arizona 85253 or by giving Bridwell Automotive Center a call today (480) 948-4781.

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