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How to Tell if Your Car's Alternator is Bad

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Written by Thomas Conroy   



Introduction: A bad alternator on your car can leave you stranded, but there are obvious signs to tell if your car's alternator is bad and in need of repair or replacement.

Step 1: A car with a bad alternator does not properly recharge the battery after driving, making a car tough to start.

Step 2: You can tell if your car's alternator is bad if after driving a normal distance the car stalls and is difficult to re-start.

Step 3: Your car's alternator is bad if after it stalls it is difficult to start even with a jump from another vehicle, and after the jump the car does not run long before it stalls again.

Step 4:  A car with a bad alternator shows symptoms early that get progressively worse as the battery drains, such as dim dashboard lights and headlights.

Step 5: You can tell if your car's alternator is bad when electrical components that require large amount of electricity to operate fail, such as power windows and putting down a convertible top.

Tips: If you car's alternator is bad it may emit a strange odor or make a strange sound.

Warnings: It's important to get a bad alternator fixed as soon as possible because when the car stalls while driving the power steering and power brakes may fail.






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