Why Are My Headlights Dimmer Than They Normally Are?

If dim headlights are making it hard to see at night, it’s possible that it’s time to replace your car’s alternator. If the alternator is generating too much electricity, your lights will be overly bright. The lights may also flicker if the alternator is producing energy in surges. Bring your vehicle to Oxford Auto & Tire right away so we can test the alternator and replace it. Aside from the light problems, here are other signs that your alternator is going bad.

A Battery That Doesn’t Stay Charged

If your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s battery keeps dying and won’t stay charged, it could be that the alternator is no longer able to charge it. This is the responsibility of the alternator. The only other reason why a battery will not hold a charge is that it is too old.

Malfunctioning or Slow Accessories

The alternator also takes care of the power for your vehicle’s accessories. Consequently, if the alternator is going bad, your accessories may start to malfunction or slow down. Strange things, such as the navigation system malfunctioning, can be caused by a faulty alternator.

Engine Misfiring and Frequent Stalling

You would think the above is all the alternator has to do, but it also supplies power to the spark plugs. As such, if the alternator is going bad, your engine will start to misfire and stall frequently because the spark plugs are unable to fire constantly and correctly.

Strange Noises Coming From the Engine

You may also hear strange noises coming from the engine if the alternator is malfunctioning. The alternator itself can make grinding or growling noises if it needs to be replaced because it is worn out. The alternator belt may make squealing noises if it is too loose.

Hot Electrical Wire or Rubber Odors

We mentioned in the introduction that a malfunctioning alternator can produce too much power. When this happens, the electrical system in your automobile will overheat. Consequently, you may smell hot electrical wires or burning rubber odors coming from the engine.

Warning Light on the Dashboard

Finally, all of these things may cause the engine control unit to turn on the battery light on the dashboard. If you drive an older automobile, you may see an illuminated GEN or ALT on the dashboard.

Call Oxford Auto & Tire in Oxford, PA, today to schedule an appointment for your automobile if it is having any of the problems listed above.

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