Today's cars make use of two power sources: mechanical and electrical. Your engine will generate mechanical force using combustion, providing power to move the car's wheels. Meanwhile, the other systems such as your radio and headlights rely on electrical power provided by the battery. These two systems interact through the alternator, which changes the mechanical energy into electrical energy and keeps the battery charged. When an alternator is failing, many different problems can result. Read on to learn about how to know if your Volvo alternator is failing.

The Alternator Warning Light Turns On

A dash light is likely to be the most common sign that there is an issue with your charging system. Most cars that are made in the last decade should have this function to signal an alternator issue. A healthy alternator has a voltage output from 13V and 14.5V. When you use electrical components, like the radio, the headlight and windshield wipers, your alternator will have to work harder to keep up the necessary voltage. If your alternator is failing, the voltage will be above or below the set level, activating the warning light.

Strange Noises

Cars can make plenty of noises, some of them are normal while others can be a sign of serious problems.  One sound that is common for a failing alternator is a whining or growling noise. Together with the crankshaft pulley, a serpentine belt or drive belt runs the alternator. Usually, the alternator pulley turns faster than the crankshaft pulley in order to create the power needed for lower speeds. If the alternator pulley is not aligned with the drive belt, or the bearings are wearing out, this will cause a whining or growling noise, indicating you may have an alternator problem. Don't leave a bad alternator on for too long that it causes damage to your engine. If you do this, you will start to hear rattling from inside your engine.

Difficulty Starting Or Regular Stalling

If you face issues with starting your car or face regular stalling, it could be a sign that your Volvo alternator is failing. Many other issues can also lead to frequent stalling and problems with starting the car. If the alternator is causing the issue, one possible reason is that it is not charging the car battery well, resulting in the dead battery. If your car battery is lacking charge, it will not have the power to turn on. If the car is stalling after you have turned it on, it could be that the spark plug system is not receiving sufficient electricity from the alternator to run the engine.

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