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Battery or Alternator: How to Tell Which May Be the Problem With Your Automobile

If your car’s battery or alternator are dead, your car will not start when you turn the key in the ignition. This may leave you wondering whether the problem lies with your battery or with your alternator. Fortunately, there are a few tricks that can be used to help you determine which item is likely the culprit for your car not starting. Here are a few ways to tell whether the problem may lie with the alternator or your battery. 

Check the Lights on Your Dashboard

If your car will not start when you place the key in the ignition, take the time to check the lights on your dashboard. If the lights on your dashboard are very dim, or not noticeable at all, the battery is likely the culprit. If it is daylight and you cannot see the lights on your dashboard well, test out the radio or the power windows in your car. If the radio or the windows are not working, your battery is the problem. If the alternator was the problem, your battery would still have enough power to light the dashboard, play the radio and roll your windows up and down. 

The Car Stalls After Being Jumped

If your car will not start, you may have the battery jumped to help you get on the road. If the battery jumps and starts up, but your car stalls quickly after it starts up, or your car will not start up again after you turn it off, your alternator is likely the culprit. If your battery were dead, it would likely not jump start. A dead alternator does not charge your battery, which is why your car may stall out or fail to turn back on again after you power the battery. 

Have Your Battery Tested

The final way to tell whether your problem lies in the alternator or in the battery is to have the battery tested. Many repair stores that sell parts for your automobile test batteries for free. If you have a second vehicle or have a friend who is willing to drive you, bring the battery in to one of these stores. They can tell you whether the battery is dead or whether the battery still has life left in it. This can then help you definitively pin-point whether your battery or your alternator is the cause of your car not starting. 

If your automobile’s battery is dead, you can pick up a new battery and swap it out yourself. However, if the alternator is the problem, you will need to bring your vehicle to a car repair shop. When you are in need of an auto repair shop to replace an alternator, reach out to Morgan Automotive. We can replace your alternator in a timely manner and get you back on the road. 

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