Do I Have A Failing Alternator or Dead Battery?

When you experience starting problems with your car, the first place you should look for is the electrical system. To be specific, we’re referring to the alternator and battery. Both these parts play a crucial role in starting your engine and powering all your electrical accessories. To understand whether your starting problem stems from the battery or alternator, let’s discuss how they operate together.


We are all aware of our vehicle’s battery – it stores chemical energy and converts it to electrical energy. The alternator helps charge the car battery whenever your engine is on. They work hand-in-hand to keep electricity flowing throughout the vehicle.


To know whether you have a dead alternator or battery, pay attention to how your engine reacts upon start-up. If you can’t get your car to start at all, there’s a high chance that it is the battery. If you can get your motor to start, but then it immediately turns off, it is likely that you have an alternator problem. 


Other Signs of a Failing Alternator

  • Clicking sounds under the hood
  • Dim or flashing headlights and interior lights
  • Burning smells
  • Malfunctioning car accessories

Other Signs of a Failing Battery

  • Battery age is 3-5+ years old
  • Battery corrosion
  • Engine cranking
  • Dashboard warning light on

If either your battery or alternator needs to be replaced, please bring your car to TC Auto Service. A malfunctioning electrical system can cause major inconveniences. Let us help you with a fix!