Failing Alternator

Signs of a Failing Alternator and When to Replace It

Prashant Salla
Prashant Salla3 min read
Signs of a Failing Alternator and When to Replace It

Have you ever been driving down the road, only to suddenly lose electrical power and find yourself stranded on the side of the road?

If so, you may have experienced a bad alternator. Your vehicle's alternator is a critical component of its electrical system, and when it fails, it can cause a range of problems that can leave you stranded.

In this article, we'll explore the signs of a failing alternator and when it's time to replace it to avoid getting stuck in an inconvenient situation.

Replacing Your Car Alternator With Goodhood

The alternator is a crucial component of a car's electrical system that generates electricity to power various parts of the car, including the battery, lights, radio, and other components.

Knowing there's something wrong with your alternator can be troubling. But don't worry – Goodhood has you covered with a range of alternator options to fit your car and budget.

We have experienced and ASE-certified technicians to help you fix your alternator trouble and choose the right one for your car. 

Signs of a Failing Alternator

If your car's alternator is failing, you may experience some of the following signs:

Dead Car Battery

When the car's alternator is not generating enough electricity, the battery can quickly become drained since it won't be getting enough power, causing the car not to start or even die while driving.

Dimming or Flickering lights or Interior Lights

The alternator is the one that provides power to the lights in your car, so when it's not functioning properly, the lights may become dim or flicker.

Warning Light on the Dashboard

Many modern cars have a warning light on the dashboard that will illuminate when there's an issue with the alternator or electrical system.

Strange Noises

A failing alternator may produce grinding, whining, or other unusual noises. These noises can come from the alternator belt or other components in the car's electrical system.

Electrical Issues

If you notice issues with other electrical components in the car, like the radio or power windows, it could be a sign of a failing alternator.

When to Replace the Alternator

It's important to replace your alternator before it completely fails to avoid being stranded on the side of the road. 

Here are some guidelines for when to replace your alternator:

Mileage and Age of the Alternator

Alternators normally last between 100,000 and 150,000 miles, but this can vary depending on driving conditions and maintenance.

Regular Maintenance and Inspections

Regular inspections by a mechanic can help catch any potential issues with your alternator before they become major problems.

Following manufacturer recommendations: Following the manufacturer's recommendations for when to replace the alternator can ensure that you're not caught off guard by failure.

Alternator Replacement Process

If it's time to replace your alternator, here's what you can expect:

Inspection and Diagnosis

A mechanic will inspect your car's electrical system and perform tests to determine if the alternator is indeed the problem.

Choosing the Right Replacement Alternator

There are a variety of replacement alternators available on the market, so it's important to choose one that's compatible with your car's make and model.

Installation and Testing

The replacement alternator will be installed, and the car's electrical system will be tested to ensure that everything is functioning properly.


A failing alternator can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous problem, but when you know the signs of a failing alternator and when to replace it, you can ensure that your car remains safe and reliable.

Regular maintenance and inspections can help catch any potential problems before they become major, and choosing the right replacement alternator can keep your car's electrical system running smoothly.

If you need to replace your alternator, Goodhood has the experience and expertise to help. We offer a range of alternators to fit your car and budget, with a full warranty and guaranteed satisfaction on installation.

Contact us today for more information about how we can help you with your car's alternator replacement!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs of a failing alternator?

Signs of a failing/bad alternator include a dead battery, dimming headlights or interior lights, warning lights on the dashboard, strange noises, and electrical issues.

When should I replace my alternator?

Alternators last between 100,000 and 150,000 miles, but regular inspections by a mechanic can help catch any future issues before they become major problems. It's also important to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for when to replace the alternator.

Are there mobile auto services that can replace my alternator?

At Goodhood, we offer a full range of mobile auto services, including alternator replacement. Our experienced and ASE-certified technicians can help you choose the right alternator for your car and install it with guaranteed satisfaction.

How much does an alternator replacement cost?

The cost of an alternator replacement depends on the make and model of your car. Consult your professional technician for an estimate of the cost, as well as any applicable labor costs.