Common Warning Signs of Alternator Trouble


A faulty alternator can cause your battery's power reserve to become depleted to the extent that you're unable to get moving. When you first notice a sign of alternator trouble, you'll want to be proactive about addressing it. Here are six signs of a failing alternator.

Dashboard Warning Light

A malfunctioning alternator can cause a dashboard warning light to turn on. This warning light commonly reads GEN or ALT, but in some cars it illuminates in the form of a battery symbol. Anytime a warning light comes on, it's important to figure out what exactly is triggering it.

Dead Battery

When you install a new battery in your car, it should work reliably for at least three years, if not significantly longer. If your battery dies sooner than this timeframe and not for an obvious reason like forgetting to turn off your headlights, then you could be dealing with alternator trouble.

Malfunctioning Electrical Accessories

Modern vehicles are commonly equipped with computers that determine which electrical accessories should first have their power reduced when a faulty alternator is detected. This saves power for the vehicle's most essential electrical needs, but may cause issues with certain accessories such as power seats.

Issues with Headlights

Alternator trouble can cause headlights to start dimming or flickering, which could create a serious safety hazard if you have to drive at night on roads that aren't lit up by street lamps.


When the alternator isn't working properly, spark plugs may not receive adequate power. This could cause your vehicle to then stall out.

Problem with Belt

If you suspect that your car may be experiencing alternator trouble, then it's worth popping the hood and taking a quick look. If you see that a belt is cracking or poorly fitting, then you may have found the source of your alternator issue.

If you need auto repair, be sure to bring your vehicle to a reputable mechanic. For alternator replacement and auto electric repair in Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR, visit the experts at A-1 Automotive. A-1 Automotive also specializes in Prius repair in Portland, OR. Feel free to bring your vehicle to us for any of its repair or maintenance needs!

Kory's Blog
Posted: April 29, 2021

Written and Published By MORBiZ

Important Winter Auto Maintenance Tasks to Keep You Safe
Helpful Tips for Preventing Fuel Waste while Driving
Signs of Serious Engine Trouble that We Can Fix at Our Portland Auto Shop
Simple Ways to Keep Your Brakes Healthy
Common Reasons the Check Engine Light Turns On
Does my car need brake repair? Here Are Common Signs that Say Yes
What types of maintenance should be completed before a road trip?
Suspension Failure: 6 Warning Signs
Common Warning Signs of Alternator Trouble
Why You Should Always Keep Up with Your Oil Change Schedule
Cooling System Trouble: 6 Warning Signs
7 Common Problems that Prevent Engines from Starting
8 Types of Winter Auto Maintenance for Safe Driving
7 Simple Tips for Better Fuel-Efficiency
Why to Get a Coolant Flush
Expert Auto Repair in Vancouver, WA
7 Issues that Can Trigger Your Check Engine Light
Would my car benefit from a transmission flush?
7 Signs of Brake Trouble
Enhance Safety & Performance with these 6 Maintenance Tasks
6 Warning Signs of Transmission Trouble
6 Indications of a Suspension Problem
What are the signs of an alternator issue?
6 Qualifications for a Shop to Gain AAA-Certification
6 Car Problems that Can Cause No-Start
7 Important Winter Auto Maintenance Tasks to Keep You Safe
Tips for Figuring Out Which Kind of Fluid Is Leaking from Your Vehicle
8 Tips for Boosting MPGs
Make Sure Your Vehicle Stays Current on These 6 Fluid Flushes
Common Reasons a Check Engine Light Turns On
5 Important Summertime Maintenance Tasks
How to Know if There's an Issue with Your Cooling System
Brake Trouble: 6 Symptoms
Is my transmission failing?
BG Fuel and Induction Service: Boost Performance and Extend the Life of Your Engine
Warning Signs of Suspension Trouble
BG Automotive Maintenance Services and Products
How to Know if Your Alternator Is Failing
Don't skip these 6 important winter maintenance tasks!
5 Issues that Could Prevent Your Car from Starting
Expert Transmission Service in Portland, OR
5 Requirements for an Auto Shop to Be AAA-Certified
6 Simple Ways to Increase Your Gas Mileage
Keep Your Vehicle Up to Date on these 5 Types of Fluid Flushes
Planning a road trip? Here are six maintenance tasks before heading out!
How to know if you need engine repair
Expert Auto Repair in Southeast Portland, OR
What Is Triggering My Check Engine Light?
6 Signs of a Transmission Issue
How to know if you need brake repair
Make an appointment for these six winter maintenance tasks in Portland, OR!
Top Signs of Alternator Failure
5 Signs of a Cooling System Problem
Do I need new shocks or struts?
5 Tips on How to Improve Your MPGs
6 Maintenance Services Provided by a Reputable Mechanic in Portland, OR
5 Helpful Maintenance Tips to Prepare Your Car for Winter
4 Types of Repair Offered by the Best Mechanic in Portland
6 Services Provided by a Reputable Portland Mechanic
Which kind of fluid is leaking from my vehicle?
5 Signs That it's Time to Get a Tune-Up
5 Red Flags that Could Mean You Need a New Fuel Filter
3 Signs of a Transmission Problem
4 Important Reasons to Conduct Oil Changes on TIme
How to Winterize your Car
What does the Suspension Do & Why Should I Repair It?
4 Signs of Brake Failure You Need to Know
How to Improve Gas Mileage this Summer
3 Signs you may need an Engine Rebuild
5 Common Causes the Check Engine Light Comes On