The number two reason your car does not start after a bad battery is your alternator needs to be replaced.
The alternator in your vehicle is responsible for not only charging the battery but also running all of the electrical components in your vehicle once the engine is started. When something goes wrong with the alternator, whether the belt is loose or the alternator has failed, it then makes your rely on your battery to run all the electrical components in your vehicle. Like the radio, spark plugs, and all other electrical components until that battery no longer life left in it.
Any time there is a problem with the alternator, it requires replacement.
Below are a few ways to know if your alternator is bad.
The first is, if your car is not starting and you start it with jumper cables. Take the jumper cables off, if the car dies immediately after that it most likely means the alternator needs to be replaced.
Why this happens is the battery only has so much juice, the alternator’s job is to keep charging your battery. So the jumper cables give it a brief charge, however if the alternator does not turn on and start charging the battery once you remove the cables. There is not enough juice in your battery to keep your vehicle running and it will shut off immediately.
Another common sign is your battery will continue to die on you, you see if your battery has full charge even though the alternator is not adding any charge it will slowly deteriorate. So if your car continues to die on you, but will start up again if you wait an hour or two. That is your warning sign that your alternator is failing and needs to be replaced.
What if I don’t replace my alternator after seeing the warning signs?
While there are some potential warning signs of an issue with your alternator. Like the check engine light may be on, your car shutting off while driving, your lights in the vehicle are dimmer than normal. You don’t always get those signs, it can be more abrupt and like the first example even after the use of jumper cables, your car shuts off immediately after.
In these cases, you won’t be able to drive your vehicle without replacing your alternator. Sometimes you will have to get it towed to the shop if you can’t turn your car on to drive it there.
If you’re experiencing any issues of your car shuttering while driving like you’re about to lose power, or your car doesn’t start one morning then powers up no problem later in the day. Give us a call and schedule an appointment for us to inspect the battery and your electrical system. This way we can tell you if your alternator is charging your battery, maybe your battery is bad or it could be something as simple as a film that is around the battery terminals that need to be cleaned.