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Defective alternator

A defective alternator will be unable to recharge the battery. Under normal operation, certain vehicle components, such as the starter, draw power from the battery. The alternator uses the rotation of the crankshaft to generator power and transfers it to the battery. Without this, the battery would quickly run out of a power.

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Dead Battery

Since the alternator charges the battery, if it is defective it will result in a dead battery. A dead battery will make it very difficult to start a vehicle.

If you experience a dead battery, and recharge it, a working alternator should keep it charged. The battery may have just run out of power. A jump start will remedy the situation. However, if you charge the battery or receive a jump start and the next time you try start your vehicle, it won't, then the alternator may be malfunctioning.

Loss of Power to Accessories

If you are driving along, and you notice your headlights or dash lights are dim, the alternator may not be charging the battery. Since these components draw their power from the battery, a loss in their power indicates a problem with either the battery or alternator.

This article was last edited on June 18th, 2010 at 4:15 PM
Category: Electrical and Charging