Car Battery Problems-Or could it be your Car Alternator that is blamed.

Car Battery Problems

Unfortunately, the two things are very closely linked. Many customers call in knowing that they have car battery problems. The number one sign is quite evident? The car will not start. This is mainly in the cold weather of wintertime.

It can also become a problem in hot summer weather when the air conditioning is working at full pelt. This problem, can show up a failing battery and give the owner what

Car Battery Problems

Typical modern alternator

he thinks are car battery problems.

I must confess that the first thing we do is to test the battery and the alternator with the same piece of equipment. This usually fails the car battery, and we then fit a new one. Nine times out of ten, this will do the trick. However, a faulty alternator could make the original problem re-occur.

When we talk about car battery problems, we need to understand a little about, what the alternator does? The primary task is to keep the battery charge topped up at the correct level. This is when the driver is using a significant amount of electrics in the cars cab.

In winter time it will be the car lights and the heater system that takes much of the power from the battery and making the alternator work hard, replacing the charge back into the battery. This could also be a clue to the driver that the car is about to have some car battery problems.

Car Battery Problems

One of the first signs is that your cars lights may appear to be shining dimmer. This is usually an alternator problem. Too much or too little power back to your battery will make your lights dimmer.

This was more common on the older type, what I call “dynamo” alternators. Lights dimming were one of the first signs that the dynamo bushes, (that created the electricity to charge up the battery) were wearing down and therefore not doing the job correctly. When the alternator was not passing enough charge, then the light would dim, or the heater would work slowly and make a distinctly different noise to what it should make.

A good point about the older type of alternator is that it could be repaired, by fitting a new set of bushes. Older mechanics would remember this well. It was a job usually given to the junior member of the garage staff.

When the earlier alternators failed then, the first thing to happen would be that the driver would start to have car battery problems. What they did was to boil theCar Battery Problems battery almost dry, and the battery needed replacing. In many cases, the alternator would fail completely and would have to be repaired along with fitting a new car battery.

Car Battery Problems

The more modern car alternator is much more complicated. They are indeed connected to the entire cars electrical system via the cars ECU (on-board computer).The modern alternator works similar to a smart charger, applying a constant charge replacement to the battery in a more efficient manner than the old type dynamo charger.

This type of alternator usually fails because of a faulty circuit board and will fail at once. These alternators are repaired by specialist companies, and we buy them as we need them as exchange units.

One thing that we have learned about batteries and alternators is that when a battery goes, we here at Pellon Autocentre in Halifax UK, always check the cars alternator when we fit a new battery. This gives us a piece of mind that the new battery won’t be damaged by a faulty alternator in a few weeks’ time.

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