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Top 5 Signs of Alternator Problems

Dim Lights

Headlights, dashboard lights or your vehicle's ambient lighting may dim signaling an imminent failure of your vehicle's alternator. If this occurs, immediately pull into a safe area and call for help. It is possible that as the alternator's condition continues to deteriorate, your vehicle will become inoperable.

Warning Light

Most late model vehicles will be equipped with a dashboard warning light to alert you of alternator troubles. The light is typically shaped like a battery or may say "ALT" or "GEN". The warning light may only trigger if multiple electrical components are in use and can be indicative of how much life and energy is left in your vehicle.

Weak or Dead Battery

Your car or trucks battery has its own common pitfalls including the inability to accept and hold a charge. We suggest that you first check that your vehicle's battery is in excellent working order and fully charged before diagnosing a problem with the alternator. Once a problematic battery is ruled out, with a fully charged battery, restart your vehicle. If the lights become dim again after a short time or you experience any of the other signs of an alternator issue, it is likely that the problem is, in fact, the alternator.

Weird Smells

If you're burning rubber, but in a bad way, you might have an alternator issue. Alternators work in conjunction with a system of belts. If a belt is experiencing excess friction from not being able to turn freely, the rubber will heat up producing a strong odor similar to the smell of an electrical fire. If this occurs, we recommend having your alternator evaluated by one of our factory-trained, Certified Technicians.

Odd Sounds

Because there are so many moving parts inside of and working with your alternator, there are many opportunities for those parts to become worn or to break. If you hear grinding or whining noises, it could mean there is an issue.

If there are any concerns that your vehicle's alternator may not be functioning properly, make an appointment at any of Moss Bros. Auto Group's eight dealerships in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Moreno Valley to have it evaluated by one of our professionals.

Service Department Hours

  • Monday 7:00am - 5:30pm
  • Tuesday 7:00am - 5:30pm
  • Wednesday 7:00am - 5:30pm
  • Thursday 7:00am - 5:30pm
  • Friday 7:00am - 5:30pm
  • Saturday 7:00am - 5:00pm
  • Sunday Closed
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