Posted on

Alternator and Battery problems

Alternators work by recharging the battery using the power from the engine whilst it’s running. If your car starts to die, the lights dim and the radio stops – chances are it’s the alternator that’s at fault, not the battery itself as people usually assume. A vehicle consists of many components that keep it running. When you experience a persistent battery problem it may not even be the battery that you need to worry about. If you’re worried about a problem with your battery, it might actually be an alternator fault. If your car struggles to start in the winter, it’s probably a problem related to the battery. Cold temperatures are hard on batteries, especially since people tend to be powering things like heaters and lights at the same time!

The voltage regulator makes sure the current flowing to the battery does not get too high. If the charging voltage is too low in the alternator, the charging system could fail, causing the car to break down. Factors that might affect the charging voltage are drained batteries or worn/loose cables. If power fails, it’s always best to check out the whole charging system, including the battery, voltage regulator and alternator.

Signs to look out for:

  • If you hear a clicking sound when you turn the key
  • Engine cranks more slowly than usual
  • Needing to press the gas pedal to start
  • Backfiring
  • Burning smell
  • Dim lights
  • Unusual growling noise



You become attuned to the normal sounds of your vehicle. When you start to notice unusual signs, get your vehicle checked as soon as possible to prevent any further issues that could be caused.

For more information, useful help or to book your vehicle in call Thomas Auto Tec on 01736 755684