Your car alternator is a simple generator which produces an alternating current. It does one important thing, however: it keeps your car battery charged. Without this device, your car battery would run down real fast, and thus your car would not be able to start. Also, the alternator supplies a little more electricity, so each electrical system in the car runs properly. Thus, a bad alternator would affect everything from the battery to the windshield wiper. You might want to know the signs of a bad alternator, so you can fix it in time or replace it if necessary. Here they are:
DIMMED ACCESSORY LIGHTS
If you find that your dash lights, headlights or radio get dimmer when you try to start your vehicle, you might want to check out your alternator. This is a sign that it might not be able to handle the load as well as before.
If your battery keeps dying or your car seems unable to start every time, you might have a bad alternator. This could happen even when your battery is in perfect condition. It is important that you fix this as soon as possible, because jump-starting your battery more than four times in a week could damage it.
If your car has trouble starting at all, or it keeps turning and turning before starting up finally, it could mean that your alternator is wearing out. Also, your voltage regulator might be malfunctioning, or your brushes might not be reaching the coil at all required points.
If you notice a grinding noise from your alternator, it might be an indication of a bad alternator. This is usually caused by a dirty, broken or worn-out bearing.
This is not as common as the other signs. But you might want to take note. If your alternator belt is not able to rotate freely on its pulleys, it could cause friction, which would cause the belt to heat up. This could cause the belts to burn, thus the burnt-rubber smell.