How to Fix Alternator Problems in Winter

April 22, 2019 Tom Clark | Comments Off

The winter can give the car owners a notoriously tough time. It poses more threat for the charging system of your car. If you have already noticed few telltale signs like dimming of the headlights, struggling for a start or having a stifled start, or if you have heard that “click, click, click” sound without your car making any effort to start at all, then you can better assume the simple fact, that your car is facing some trouble that needs immediate attention.

Among all these components that are associated or linked to the Batteries are usually the ones that demand most of your attention, especially the components that are involved with the process of charging. But do you have an idea which is most less talked about part of this system?  Well, the experts of the Henderson Mazda say, in most cases it is the alternator on which the winter will always cast a bad spell, if you have ever gone off-guard with your car.

The Role of an Alternator

Though it is the battery power that initially starts up your car, but once the car gets going, in a few minutes the engine will start running the alternator with the help of a belt that moves through a pulley system.

The alternator on the other hand helps maintain the battery charge by constantly feeding it a regulated amount of current. Alternators are structurally mini generators that are made to send out AC current that needs to be converted into DC through a rectifier.

If your car alternator is at fault, it can start damaging the onboard electrical components of the battery itself. Without the presence of an alternator, the car cannot travel very far, so do pay attention to these alarming signs of a troubled alternator before it turns things worse.

Freezing Out

Cold weather might cause several problems to the car battery as it needs more juice to battle down the internal resistance of the cold temperature and thickening of the engine oil.

The other alternator problem that usually occurs at winter is a squealing sound coming from under the hood. This noise usually indicates the slipping of a belt. It so happens, that when it’s cold, the belt made of rubber driving the alternator becomes more rigid and warms up to provide better “grip” to the pulley. A squealing sound from the alternator belt, indicates that it is probably not getting adequate charging power, to run the car and to keep the car battery charged.

Dealing with the Issue

How to diagnose if the issue is with your car battery or the alternator? The team of mechanics at the Mazda dealership near Henderson suggest one sure shot way to find out. They say, if the alternator failure happens because of a slipping belt, it can be diagnosed through the squealing noise and is easy to be tightened up, but if the sound isn’t there and still you are facing difficulty to start the engine, only a trained mechanic can detect the issue and solve it .