Is the Alternator Going Out on Your Used Car in Dallas Ft Worth?

ft worth chevrolet serviceUh oh. You’ve found yourself with a dead battery, and you’re unable to jump it even with your friend’s powerful Chevy Silverado. There’s no corrosion on your battery terminals, so what the heck is going on? Let’s think back over the last couple of weeks… did you happen to notice your  gauges flickering at all? Or how about your headlights? Have they looked a little dim lately?

Whether or not these things were happening, if you found yourself with a dead battery and you are unable to jump start it, then you might be looking at a problem with your alternator. The alternator is part of the charging system in your Chevrolet that produces electricity for many devices. It’s a type of generator that transforms mechanical energy into electrical energy. Your battery does supply your car with some electricity, but most of the electrical mechanisms within the vehicle, require the alternator’s steady stream of power. In layman’s terms, an alternator keeps your battery charged.  So even if your alternator dies or malfunctions, your car will run for a while directly off of the battery, until all the battery’s power is drained. That’s when you won’t be able to turn the engine over or get any power at all.

Luckily, there is a really easy way to tell if the alternator is going out on your used Chevrolet. As I mentioned above, one of the signs of alternator problems is dim headlights.  Why? The alternator supplies the vehicle’s electrical needs. So when it loses its full potential, so will the things that use it’s electricity. Drivers sometimes experience symptoms ranging from dimming or extremely bright headlights and dash lights, to speedometers and tachometers that simply stop working for no reason. Other accessories, like heated seats or power windows may experience a slowdown, as well.

There’s a great, DIY test you can do with your headlights to see if your alternator is working properly. Turn your car headlights on while the car is running (make sure you are outside… we don’t need any carbon monoxide accidents). Press the accelerator while the car is in park. If the headlights dim or get brighter when you press the accelerator, your alternator could be bad. If the headlights remain the same, your alternator is probably fine.

If you’re still unsure about whether or not your alternator is going out, or it already has for sure, go and see the service department over at Classic Chevrolet. Unfortunately, it’s not really cost-effective to have alternator fixed. You’ll most likely need a new one. But it’s still important to watch out for the signals so you don’t end up draining your battery and getting stuck on the side of a Dallas Ft Worth highway.

Thanks to Cassidy Schafer for contributing.