I’ve Jump-Started My Car But the Battery Isn’t Holding a Charge

If your car, truck, or utility vehicle’s battery is not holding a charge after you’ve jump-started the automobile, it’s possible that the alternator is bad. There are two reasons why your battery will not hold a charge. One is that you need a new battery, but the other is that the alternator is no longer able to charge the battery. York Tire & Auto Service advises that this is one sign that you need a new alternator. Here are the other indications.

Difficult Engine Starts

You may end up with a warning before the battery dies completely. If it has been difficult to get your automobile started lately, it’s possible that the alternator is going bad and is no longer able to generate the maximum voltage of 14.5 volts.

Accessory Malfunction

When this happens, aside from having problems starting your automobile, you may also notice that your vehicle’s accessories are malfunctioning. For example, your power seats and windows may slow down significantly. You may also have problems with the entertainment system among other things.

Dim/Overly Bright Lights

Another sign that your alternator is going bad is dim or overly bright vehicle lights. If the lights are too dim, the alternator is not generating enough energy. If the lights are too bright, the alternator is malfunctioning and generating too much energy.

Frequent Misfiring/Stalling

A faulty alternator can also make your engine misfire and stall. This is because the alternator provides power to the spark plugs so they can generate sparks. If the spark plugs are not getting the power they need, your engine will have performance problems.

Growling/Squealing Noises

Growling or squealing sounds coming from the engine can be an indication that the alternator is wearing down or the alternator belt is too loose. Either of these things can affect the alternator’s ability to generate electricity.

Hot Electrical System Odors

Sometimes, when the alternator starts to malfunction, it will generate too much voltage. When this happens, the electrical system in your automobile can overheat. Consequently, you will smell burning wires and wire insulation coming from the engine.

Dashboard Warning Light

Finally, a dying alternator will trigger a dashboard warning light so you know there’s a problem. Specifically, the light that will turn on will be a battery-shaped light or a light that spells ALT or GEN.

Call York Tire & Auto Service in Red Lion, PA, today if your vehicle is experiencing any of the problems listed above. We will test the alternator and battery to see which one needs to be replaced.


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