Alternator problems

Car won’t start? Is it leaking fluid or making rough grinding noises whenever you turn it on? Was your last maintenance check-up farther back than you can even remember? No matter the problem, All County Auto Repair & Tire has a solution for any car and any budget. Whether you need a new battery or a full starter repair and replacement, our expert mechanics in Tequesta and Stuart have a fix for you. Don’t put your car at risk for further damage--call to schedule an appointment today!

If your car is having battery issues, it may not be the battery at all. While your car is running, the alternator provides power to a variety of electrical components such as the air conditioning or interior lights. Any time it generates excess electricity, this power is stored in the car's battery to be used later. Unfortunately, sometimes an alternator malfunction can interrupt this process and prevent electricity from being stored. If you constantly have to jump your battery, or if you recently replaced the battery but it still doesn't hold a proper charge, then the root of the problem is likely the alternator.

Many garages misdiagnose a bad alternator as a bad battery, especially if the battery is already old and worn. At All County Auto Repair & Tire, we’ll give your vehicle a proper diagnostic test to determine the true cause of the problem. Don’t wait until you car won’t start at all--call our experts today to schedule an affordable tune-up that you can trust.

Starter problems

If your car tries to start but fails before the engine is fully cranked, then the problem could lie with the starter. By turning the key, you allow electricity to flow from the battery to the starter motor, thereby completing the circuit for the engine’s first revolution. Two devices, the starter motor and the solenoid, are responsible for firing the ignition and cranking up the engine. The solenoid is typically attached to the starter, and together these two devices send a jolt of electricity from the battery to the engine, causing it start or “turn over.”

There are several issues that can cause the starter or the solenoid to fail, including:

- Weak battery: a battery that is not sufficiently charged cannot generate enough electricity to engage the starter. The car may make several fast clicking noises and the lights and other electronics may come on, but the engine will never fully turn over.

- Dead battery: a broken or underused battery may lack charge altogether, meaning that neither the engine nor any other components will start up when prompted.

- Faulty wiring: the wires that carry electricity from the battery to the starter are susceptible to heat damage and corrosion over time. Fixing this issue can be as simple as changing a wire or as complex as a full electrical system diagnostic and repair.

- Broken flywheel: the flywheel is comprised of multiple metal teeth that move the crankshaft and pistons in the engine. If the flywheel teeth wear down, they will no longer be able to catch and engage these components.

Knowing the difference

Though these components are all closely intertwined, there are certain symptoms that are often caused by one element over another. Common signs that a specific part has worn out are listed below.

Alternator
- A rubbery burning smell (this is caused by the alternator overheating)
- A growling sound coming from under the hood
- Internal and external lights flicker or grow suddenly brighter
- The battery can be jumped, but the car cannot restart itself after being shut off

Starter
- Dashboard lights come on even when the engine will not start
- A rapid clicking sound when the key is turned
- The engine will not turn over even when the car is jumped by a functioning battery


Troubleshooting a starter, alternator, or battery problem can quickly become stressful, so why not let the experts at All County Auto Repair & Tire take care of it for you? Whether your starter system needs to be reconditioned, rebuilt, or even replaced, our technicians have the know-how to find the problem and fix it in no time. With two convenient locations in Tequesta and Jupiter (561-747-8320) and Stuart (772-266-8685), there has never been a better time to have your car inspected and repaired. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, then call All County Auto Repair & Tire today!
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