How to Spot Alternator Trouble from Sewell Toyota


Battery trouble is never fun, but what happens when it is more than just a battery issue? When something is amiss with your alternator, you will find that a jump-start will not be enough to get you home. Sewell Toyota is here to help with a few tips on how to spot warning signs and easy ways to keep your alternator functioning properly for as long as possible.


The alternator is located on the engine and provides power to the battery while continuously charging the battery as well as the car’s electrical systems and computers. It will typically last for approximately seven years or around 100,000-150,000 miles. There are several factors which can affect how long an alternator will last, including the quality of the part, the conditions in which your vehicle is operated, and how many electronics are being used inside the vehicle.


The signs that something is amiss with your alternator are relatively easy to spot if you know what you are looking for. You may want a service professional to take a look at your alternator if you notice any of the following warning signs:


  • Alternator warning light or other dashboard warning lights turning on

  • An electrical burning smell

  • Headlights that begin pulsating from dim to bright

  • A squealing noise originating in your vehicle’s engine

  • Intermittent functionality of the car radio or other electrical components


Being able to spot these warning signs beforehand can prevent you from finding yourself stranded on the road.


To keep your vehicle’s alternator functioning at its best for as long as possible, there are a few guidelines to follow. You want to ensure that all accessories are installed correctly so that they do not place undue strain on your alternator. You will also want to be sure you are always jump-starting your vehicle properly when this action is necessary so no damage is done to your vehicle. Making sure that belts are not too tight is important as this can cause damage to the alternator bearings and cause premature wear. In addition, checking to make sure no fluid leaks into the alternator can preserve your alternator.


If you are looking to have your alternator serviced, come by Sewell Toyota. Our service team is happy to help you keep your vehicle running in peak condition. You can give us a call at (940) 322-7283 or schedule your service appointment online. Our service hours are Monday-Friday 7:30 AM-6 PM and Saturdays 8 AM-5 PM.
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