Alternators are crucial in keeping your car moving. The alternator is responsible for producing an alternating current within your vehicle. This alternating current keeps your car’s battery charged and aids the battery in providing electricity throughout your vehicle.
The battery is responsible for starting your car, and the alternator is responsible for keeping the car running. Without the alternator, the task of running all the electrical parts of your car would fall solely on the battery which could not sustain the power demand. Therefore, the alternator is a crucial element of your vehicle that needs to be appropriately maintained.
Just like any other vehicle, the Volvo is susceptible to mechanical and electrical problems. A more common problem Volvo’s can experience is a malfunctioning alternator. If the alternator fails, the electrical elements of your car will be unable to function at full capacity, if at all, and should be inspected immediately upon suspicion of a problem. Ensuring your alternator is operating correctly will keep both you and other drivers safe, and it prevents you from becoming stranded on the road when it fails.
Check your vehicle’s lights the next time you’re driving in the dark or a dimly lit area. If you notice the headlights pulsing from dim to bright repeatedly, that’s an indication your alternator is not functioning correctly. While it can manifest in other lighting systems within your car, the headlights are the easiest to check. So, it is the recommended first step in diagnosing alternator problems.
A burning smell can emit from either the alternator or the battery. If you encounter this problem, we recommend you get your vehicle inspected immediately. This problem, in particular, could indicate that your alternator is overheating, which can cause critical damage.
The radio system or other entertainment features of your car might occasionally fail or not correctly work when powered by a malfunctioning alternator.
Because the alternator keeps the battery of your vehicle functioning at its best, a battery will not be adequately charged once the alternator fails. A partially-charged battery will lead to vehicle stalling when you attempt to start it. If this problem becomes progressively worse, that’s an indication the battery is losing its charge as a result of the alternator not providing an alternating current.
Perhaps the most apparent indication you need to have your alternator inspected is the alternator warning light on your dashboard. If you see this light up, make an appointment with your trusted mechanic to save you the headache of looming issues or being stranded.
Alternators are expected to last 100,000 to 150,000 miles before beginning to naturally wear down from typical use. Normal wear and tear will eventually lead to a replaced alternator. However, there are measures you can take to ensure it lasts as long as possible.
If you’re a person who relies on having multiple electronics in use while in your vehicle, you could be overusing your alternator. The alternator is susceptible to wearing out if you have it powering various other items in addition to the systems it already has to run.
If you suspect your alternator needs to be inspected, you can check it with a voltmeter. Using a voltmeter can determine if your alternator and battery are at the proper electrical output you need to keep your vehicle running smoothly. If your alternator is running below 13 volts, we recommend you take it to your mechanic to get it inspected.
If you believe your Volvo’s alternator might need replacing, Tanner Motors in Phoenix, AZ can help. We provide professional maintenance and repair services for all makes and models of cars, trucks, and SUVs.
We ensure your vehicle gets the repairs it needs for you to get back on the road safely and quickly. Having a properly-functioning vehicle is the best way to optimize your car’s performance, avoid costly repairs, and protect the investment you made in it.
We pride ourselves on quality service and giving our customers the lowest price and best service possible. We look forward to earning your trust for all you future Volvo needs.