Car Battery vs Alternator vs Starter Issues at Car Start

Now, nothing quite upsetsa car owner more than the moment their trusty vehicle that won’t start in the morning. Happening at the most inconvenient time, this site can be a nightmare for anyone who has a job interview, or a date to pick.  

So, you jump in your car knowing that you are running late, and to make it on time you need to hit all the green lights. You put the key in the ignition and turn it, but wait nothing happens. You try again and still nothing works. You suspect: Why it is happening with you this morning when you wanted to reach somewhere on time? God, not this morning, you don’t have enough time to deal with this.

There is nothing worse and more frustrating than experiencing the situation when your car won’t start. Do you need to know why your car has let you down? Cars experience repair issues like this all the time, but this doesn’t mean your car should too. Here, as a good careful car owner, you must identify where the problem exists.

But how do you get to know which part is causing the issue? Because, all these parts work together to power your vehicle, so it could be hard to tell which one has failed.

Read on the blog, and learn to check these systems to identify where the actual cause of your vehicle problems lies. Is your car battery dead? Or, Is there a serious problem with your alternator or starter?

The Car Battery Issues

When your car won’t start, the best place to start your investigation is with the battery. Auto batteries UAE typically last about 3-5 years but have a shorter lifetime in extreme hot or cold weather conditions. On cold days, it is common to find that your battery has died.

Over time, the internal metal parts of the battery reduce its ability to hold the charge. The automotive battery is not made to hold a charge for a long period, so it gets recharged by the alternator while you drive.  

A battery is essential to your vehicle as it provides power to the starter and electrical system when your car is not running. It is one of the easiest and cheapest parts to be replaced, without a fully charged battery your vehicle starter won’t work properly.

Signs of Bad Battery

  • Recent Jumpstarting Your Car

You might require a jumpstart to get the battery going again. If jumpstarting gets your engine started and keeps it running, but then dies again once you turn it off, then probably the problem is with the battery.

  • Recurring Starting Issue of Vehicle

Are you having a hard time whenever you start your car? Does your vehicle make whining sounds when you attempt to get it going? If the answer is “yes”, then prepare yourself to buy a new battery. It could happen because of loose connections or a parasitic drain.

  • What if the Car Won’t Crank?

If your vehicle won’t crank when you turn the key in the ignition and the lights don’t come on, then the battery is at its end. Sometimes, the car might crank but refuse to start is also an indication of the dead battery.

  • Check If there is Rust on Terminals

Look over the battery regularly. Are the battery terminals rusty or damaged looking?  Because corrosion or rust on connections is a classic sign that your battery needs replacement.

Alternator Issues

A dead car battery can be one of the first reasons for a car’s problem. If you have examined the battery and confirmed that it is working properly, then most probably the issue is related to the alternator.

An alternator is the key part of your vehicle’s charging system, as it charges the battery when the engine is running. It typically lasts for 8-12 years, so it doesn’t have to be replaced often like the battery. If the alternator fails, your battery will lose its charge since the alternator wouldn’t be able to keep it charged.

So, you have to check the below signs to determine if the problem is because of the battery or if it’s the alternator.

Signs of Failing Alternator

Are your headlights behaving strangely? Do the lights flicker or get extra dim? It is due to a failed alternator. The electrical charging system in your car is not working properly to keep the lights on and as result, you notice flickers whenever you press the accelerator.

  • Regularly Jumpstarting Your Vehicle

If you jumpstart your vehicle and it starts, but the engine shuts off right after the jump then most likely your alternator is failing. Turn on your car and let it run, and while running unplug the positive(red) connection from the battery. If the vehicle stops, then it means your alternator is not working properly.

Remember, don’t test the alternator by removing the negative(black) battery cable with the engine running because it would damage your car’s electrical system.

  • Unusual Smell of Burning Rubber

The alternator works with various pulley systems and belts. If your car alternator seizes, then some of those pulleys and belts will too. Ultimately, the added friction will cause the burning rubber to smell.

  • Hearing Whining or Growling Sound

The alternator spins to power the electrical charging system. You could often hear a growling sound, if something breaks or when your alternator goes out.

Starter Issues

Your car starter is vital as it is responsible for starting the engine. When you turn the key in the ignition or push the start button, the battery sends a jolt of electricity. The starter takes that energy to turn over the engine and get your vehicle start. Without a properly functioning starter, your car won’t be able to take you anywhere.

Signs of Bad Vehicle Starter

  • Hear Clicking Sound While Turning the Key

If you turn the key and hear a clicking sound, then it means your starter is broken. This clicking sound is very similar to the sound that a car makes when the battery is dead. So, if you have already checked your battery, then you can safely assume that the problem is with your starter.

  • Lights Are on But No Action Performs

When you turn the key and the dashboard lights may illuminate, but the engine doesn’t start. At first, you examined the two power sources, the battery and the alternator that are working properly. After checking those systems, there is a high chance that something in the starter is damaged or worn out.

  • Stuck in One Place When JumpStart

Park the car in a safe place and jumpstart it. If the engine doesn’t turn over during jumpstarting process, then the problem is not associated with the battery, it’s with the starter.

Wrap Up

Starting your car is a routine process, so it’s normal for drivers to get frustrated when the engine fails to turn over. In such cases, you might find yourself unable to leave for work or get stuck in a distant parking lot. If your car won’t start, then the problem might occur because of a bad battery, alternator, or starter. The problem with one component could also cause trouble for you with other components. So, before you take any action, it’s better to take an opinion from a trustable mechanic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *