Signs Of A Bad Car Battery Vs Alternator [2023]

Signs Of A Bad Car Battery Vs Alternator
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Signs of a bad car battery vs alternator: To avoid potential issues down the line, it’s best to be proactive and take preventative measures. One way to do this with your car is to recognize the warning signs of a weak car battery or alternator.

The alternator and car battery symptoms might assist you identify any electrical problems with your car. The slow cranking of the engine, dimmer headlights, or trouble starting the automobile are all signs of a poor battery.

Bad battery vs bad alternator
Bad battery vs bad alternator

On the other side, a malfunctioning alternator might result in electrical issues, including flickering lights, a dead battery despite having recently been charged, or dashboard warning lights. By identifying these symptoms, you can determine if the alternator or battery is at fault and make the necessary repairs quickly.

Compare Car Battery Vs Alternator

Don’t get confused about battery or alternator; compare them to know the difference and what their functionality is.

Car Battery Vs Alternator
Signs Of A Bad Car Battery Vs Alternator

The electrical system of a car must have both the alternator and the car battery, but they have different purposes. When the alternator is unable to keep up with demand, a car battery is in charge of providing the initial power to start the engine. When necessary, it releases the electrical energy it has stored.

The alternator, on the other hand, produces energy while the engine is operating, which powers the electrical parts and recharges the battery. The alternator continuously recharges the battery, which supplies temporary power. In conclusion, the alternator generates electricity to keep the battery charged and power the car’s electrical systems, while the battery supplies initial power and acts as a backup.

Read – Diehard Batteries For Cars [2023]

How To Check Health Of Car Battery And Alternator?

For the electrical system of your automobile to function properly, it is essential to check the condition of the alternator and battery.

Check Health Of Car Battery And Alternator
Check Health Of Car Battery And Alternator
  • Start by examining the battery’s physical state for any indications of corrosion or damage before determining its health.
  • Next, check the voltage of the battery with a multimeter. Around 12.6 volts should be displayed on a fully charged battery.
  • Start the engine and attach the multimeter to the battery terminals to check the alternator after that.
  • A voltage value between 13.8 and 14.2 volts indicates a healthy alternator.
  • A problem with the alternator may also be indicated by the battery warning light on the dashboard remaining on while the engine is running.
  • These inspections should be carried out on a regular basis to help identify potential issues early and stop unexpected breakdowns.

Must Read – Duralast Battery Buying Guide [2023]

Problems Faced With Bad Car Battery And Alternator

Car owners may experience a number of issues and inconveniences as a result of a malfunctioning alternator and battery. Let’s examine some of the typical problems encountered when working with these defective components.

Problems Faced With Bad Car Battery And Alternator
Problems Faced With Bad Car Battery And Alternator
  • Starting the automobile Can Be Difficult: Starting your automobile can be difficult if your battery is weak or dead. You might hear clicking noises when you turn the ignition key, but the engine won’t start. 
  • Frequent Jump-Starts: If your battery is consistently losing charge, you might need to jump-start your car more frequently. 
  • Dim or flickering lights: An alternator that is malfunctioning can cause electrical problems in your car. Your dashboard lights, interior lighting, or headlights can all appear dull or flickering.
  • Battery Warning Light: On the dashboard of the majority of contemporary vehicles is a battery warning light. If this light turns on, there may be an issue with the alternator, the battery, or the charging system as a whole.
  • A malfunctioning alternator may not produce enough power to keep the engine from stalling or running rough. Because of this, your engine can stall, hesitate, or run poorly.
  • Dead Battery: If your battery totally drains due to a malfunctioning alternator, you will be left with a dead battery. Lacking a working alternator to replenish the battery.

See More – Tips To Keep Long-Lasting Car Battery Without Driving

5 Signs Of A Bad Car Battery

In order to avoid unexpected failures, getting stranded, or having to cope with uncomfortable circumstances while driving, it is crucial for individuals to be aware of the warning indications of a poor car battery. Let us explore the 5 signs of a bad car battery:

Signs Of A Bad Car Battery
Signs Of A Bad Car Battery

1. Battery Age

An old car battery might happen as a result of deterioration over time. A battery’s capacity to store a charge decreases with time, making it more challenging to start the car.

Car Battery Age
Signs Of A Bad Car Battery Vs Alternator: Car Battery Age

Additionally, deteriorating batteries may be unable to give enough power to electrical components, resulting in weak lighting and other electrical problems. To maintain peak performance, outdated batteries must be replaced on a regular basis.

Check – How Long Does It Take To Charge A Car Battery [Answered]

2. Car Battery Smells Like Rotten Eggs

A faulty battery is indicated if it has a stench similar to rotten eggs. The battery is releasing hydrogen sulphide gas, which is the source of the smell.

Car Battery Smells Like Rotten Eggs-Bad Battery
Car Battery Smells Like Rotten Eggs

This frequently happens as a result of overcharging, a malfunctioning alternator, or a harmed battery. It’s crucial to take care of this situation very away to stop future harm and potential risks to safety.

Related – How To Fix Rotten Eggs Smells In Car Battery?

3. Car Struggles To Start

Starting an automobile can be difficult if the battery is dead. It could make it difficult to turn the ignition and make the engine crank less forcefully.

Car Struggles To Start
Signs Of A Bad Car Battery Vs Alternator: Car Struggles To Start

To maintain a smooth start and dependable performance of your car, it is essential to get professional assistance to repair the battery issue right away.

Related – Car Struggles To Start But Battery Is Fine [Solved]

4. Swollen Battery

Swelling can lead to a poor car battery, which can lead to a number of problems. Inability to charge electronic gadgets, trouble starting the car, needing frequent jump starts, dim or flickering lights, stalling or rough running, and swollen batteries are all symptoms of swollen batteries.

Swollen Battery
Signs Of A Bad Car Battery Vs Alternator: Swollen Battery

In order to guarantee the effective operation of your car’s electrical system, it is essential to fix these issues right away by seeking the advice of a qualified mechanic.

5. Battery Corrosion

A damaged automotive battery may be the result of battery corrosion. When battery acid spills and reacts with metal terminals, corrosion happens, and poor electrical conductivity results. Starting problems, weak lights, and electronic faults may result from this.

Battery Corrosion
Signs Of A Bad Car Battery Vs Alternator: Battery Corrosion

Battery terminals should be maintained and cleaned regularly to prevent corrosion and ensure optimal battery performance.

Related – How Lifespan Of Car Battery Affects Its Running Capacity?

5 Signs Of A Bad Alternator

It’s important to know the warning signs of a failing alternator because doing so can help individuals spot potential electrical issues with their cars.

Signs Of A Bad Alternator
Signs Of A Bad Alternator

Early detection of these symptoms enables drivers to protect their vehicle’s overall dependability and safety by preventing battery depletion, electrical malfunctions, and potential breakdowns. Let us explore the five signs of a bad Alternator:

1. Engine Stops Working

A defective alternator may be the cause of your engine ceasing to function. The alternator is in charge of powering electrical components and charging the battery.

Engine Stops Working
Signs Of A Bad Car Battery Vs Alternator: Engine Stops Working

When it malfunctions, the battery discharges and the engine turns off. For the car to operate properly, it’s crucial to have the alternator inspected and changed if necessary.

Check – How Many Volts Is A Car Battery? [2023]

2. Burning Scent

An alternator problem may be indicated by a burning smell. The alternator is in charge of recharging the battery and supplying power to the car’s electrical systems.

Burning Scent
Signs Of A Bad Car Battery Vs Alternator: Burning Scent

If it breaks down, it may lead to electrical issues and release a burning odor as a result of overheating. To prevent additional damage or possible breakdowns, it is crucial to get it examined and repaired by an expert.

3. Odd Noises Under The Hood Of The Car

Strange noises coming from under the hood of your car may indicate a failing alternator. The battery is charged by the alternator, which also supplies power to electrical parts.

Odd Noises Under The Hood
Odd Noises Under The Hood: Weak Car Battery Symptoms

An alternator that is failing may make strange noises like whining or grinding. It must be examined and, if necessary, replaced to avoid additional harm.

You May Like – How To Know If Car Battery Needs To Be Replaced [2023]

4. Electrical Issues

Electrical problems may lead to a bad alternator. The alternator may stop working when the electrical system in a car develops issues like a broken voltage regulator or frayed wiring.

Electrical issues
Signs Of A Bad Car Battery Vs Alternator: Electrical issues

This results in the battery not being charged enough and could cause problems with various electrical parts of the car.

5. Dashboard Warning Light Is On

If the dashboard warning light is on, a malfunctioning alternator may be the cause. While the engine is running, the alternator is in charge of charging the battery. The battery may not receive enough power when it malfunctions, which causes the warning light to turn on.

Dashboard Warning Light Is On
Dashboard Warning Light Is On

In order to prevent potential breakdowns or additional damage, it is crucial to have the alternator checked out and serviced by a trained mechanic.


In conclusion, for a proper diagnosis, it’s essential to distinguish between a bad car battery and a malfunctioning alternator. Dim headlights, trouble starting the engine, and a weak or dead battery are all indications of a faulty battery. On the other hand, an alternator issue can show up as a dashboard warning light, flickering lights, or electrical issues. It is advised to seek the advice of a qualified mechanic to correctly identify and handle these problems, ensuring optimum performance and averting potential failures.

Originally posted 2023-08-06 18:16:33.

Signs Of A Bad Car Battery Vs Alternator [2023]
Signs Of A Bad Car Battery Vs Alternator [2023]

Grace Bhardwaj
Grace Bhardwaj

Grace is a writer on the automobile team at Mount Shine. She is an exceptional writer with an unparalleled ability to craft compelling articles.

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