Tips For Troubleshooting An Electrical Problem With Your Vehicle

Do you have a problem with your vehicle where it doesn't receive the electricity it needs? If so, it is likely due to a problem with the alternator or the battery. A battery provides the electrical current that your vehicle uses, and the alternator is responsible for recharging the battery. Both parts work in unison, and you'll need to know how to tell if the problem is related to either of these two parts.

The Car Stalls

If your vehicle successfully starts up and can get the tires moving, then you know that the problem is not with a dead battery. However, if the car stalls shortly after you start up your vehicle, then it could be a problem with the alternator. This is due to the alternator not being able to charge the battery back up once the vehicle is running, and all of the electrical components of the vehicle are draining the battery until it can't supply the power it needs. 

The Battery Is Old

It is worth taking a look at the battery underneath your hood because it is a part that is not designed to last forever. You'll need to replace the battery in your vehicle about every 3–5 years, depending on how much you use the vehicle. More wear and tear on the battery results in it being unable to hold a charge, which can cause it to drain quickly and cause problems. 

The Lights Dim While Driving

Do the lights inside your car dim while you are driving? This problem is related to the lights not getting enough power to fully illuminate, which is likely due to the alternator. The issue is that the battery is not able to recharge as fast as it should while driving, so the lack of power results in dim lights or lights that flicker. 

The Headlights Behave In An Odd Manner

Do the headlights actually get bright when you are accelerating quickly, or dim when you reach a red light or stoplight? The dimming is caused by the alternator not giving the battery enough power while the vehicle is not in motion, and the brightness is caused by the alternator now getting enough power to bring the lights to the proper level when accelerating. A working alternator can maintain the same level of brightness no matter what speed you are traveling.

Reach out to an auto repair shop, such as Tony's Auto Air, for more information about diagnosing a bad battery or alternator.