There are audible and visible signs that are associated with your alternator becoming bad so it's easy to learn about how to know an alternator is bad in a car. The thing is, if you don't know what these signs are, you can find yourself stuck on the side of the road not knowing what happened. Below are vital things to look for when checking to see if your alternator is on the brink.
- Listen for squeaky bird-like sound. If you hear this sound, it means the alternator belts are bad or they need to be tightened. It can also be the grooves of the alternator shaft that could be damaged. This misalignment of the two parts is what causes this squeaking high pitch sound.
- You're buying too many batteries. When alternators are bad, you're car will drain a new battery very fast. This will usually happen within a few days, depending on how bad your alternator is. You will find yourself buying a new battery too often and you wouldn't know why it is happening. Alternators continually recharge batteries, supplying them with a steady stream of new energy while the car is on and running.
- Check the battery while the car is on and off. A car battery will have a voltage of about 12.5 when it is connected to a car that is not on. If you test a car battery with a voltage meter when a car is on and it still reads this number, there is definitely something wrong with the alternator in your car. Note: When testing your battery when the car is on, make sure the volt meter reads at least 13.5. This means your battery and alternator are working fine.