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Did you know that a problem with your battery can cause all types of electrical problems with your vehicle? It can cause your check engine light to come on and even cause the transmission to operate incorrectly, all from a simple battery issue. At AAMCO, part of our proprietary diagnostic check includes checking the battery and charging system because we know from experience that the correct diagnosis is the first step in repairing your car correctly.
That's right, if you're at work, home, or on the go, we'll meet you at your location.
A car battery does not last forever. If the battery is really weak or completely dead, the alternator cannot charge it properly and it may be time to replace it. There is really no reason for the battery to go dead unless you’ve accidentally left some electrical device on (like headlights or dome lights), the alternator stops working, or the battery is defective.
The alternator is a major part of the electrical system of your vehicle. It primarily provides the power to charge your battery, and operate the starter motor, the ignition system, computers and modules throughout the vehicle and all the electronic accessories your vehicle is equipped with. If the alternator fails, you might initially notice your headlights and/or dashboard lights beginning to flicker and perhaps dim. The next time you try to start the vehicle, it may crank slowly and cause other electronic accessories such as power windows to operate a more slowly than usual.
Eventually if the alternator isn’t repaired, it will drain the battery and you will not be able to operate the vehicle.
The alternator, along with the A/C compressor and power steering pump is typically driven by a belt. If the belt is worn or frayed and not turning smoothly, the excess friction will cause the belt to run very hot and produce a burning rubber smell. If you smell this, the belt could be worn beyond its use, which will cause poor alternator output and a dead battery.
Worn bearings and other parts inside the alternator have been known to cause these types of sounds. Also, it’s not uncommon for an alternator mount to crack or break causing a rattling sound under the hood. This may also cause the belt to wear unnaturally or even break.
No, today’s modern vehicles use the on-board computers to tell the alternator when it needs to charge and when it does not. This is designed to save power and fuel, and to reduce emissions. Modern vehicle can be checked with a diagnostic scanner to determine whether the system is calling for a charge or not.
There really is no reason to install a more powerful alternator on your vehicle unless you are running aftermarket accessories and you need the extra amperage. If in stock form, your vehicle is designed with the correct size alternator and replacing it with the same size is the way to go.
Yes, AAMCO Transmissions and Total Car Care is the place to go to find professional that specializes in complex services including advanced diagnostics, transmission and engine repairs along with maintenance services.