A dying car battery or alternator can create similar issues for drivers. However, you might not need to fix both problems, especially if one is the primary cause of the other. For example, a battery that continuously runs low might be fine, and it is the alternator causing the problem. Knowing which component is the problem can help you save money.
Signs of a Dead Battery
Car batteries do not last forever. The average lifespan of a battery is between three and four years. Unfortunately, you may not know there is an issue with your battery until it starts showing signs of dying.
A dying battery will typically cause dimming lights or sporadic electrical issues. You might hear clicking when you turn the key because the battery can not provide a strong enough current for the starter to turn over. Also, the check engine light might come on.
If you notice a rotten egg smell coming from the hood or the battery case looks warped, you should replace the battery as soon as possible. Also, if there is corrosion around the connectors, a replacement is necessary. Leaving a dying battery in your vehicle or continuing to jump a dead battery can cause issues.
You can take your vehicle to a local auto shop for a VIN lookup and battery lookup. A retailer can tell you what type of battery you need for your car, and many stores train employees to help with the battery swap. You can also recycle your battery and many retail chains.
Signs of a Dead Alternator
An alternator is responsible for charging the car battery while the vehicle is in use. When an alternator is dying, your car might experience many of the same signs of a dying battery. For example, a bad alternator will usually cause dimming headlights. Also, it can cause headlights to become unusually bright.
You may also notice that some accessories are slow to turn on and malfunction frequently. The electrical issues can affect everything from the interior and exterior lights to the stereo.
Because the alternator is primarily responsible for charging the battery, a dying alternator will not provide enough output to charge the battery fully. Therefore, a driver might experience their car frequently stalling shortly after starting. Also, because power is intermittent, you might notice some strange sounds. Finally, a dying or dead alternator can cause dead batteries.
You can take your vehicle to a local auto parts store to have it checked out. Many stores will have tools to diagnose hundreds of potential issues, including alternator problems.
If you have a dead or dying alternator, it is likely best to take your vehicle to the appropriate service. A professional mechanic can also help you if you need a new battery for 2013 Ford Edge.
You do not need to be a mechanic to figure out if your alternator or battery needs replacing. Many talented people are working for companies like AutoZone. If you want help figuring out your vehicle’s problem, visit a local store.