Alternator & Auto Electrical Diagnostic & Service| San Jose, CA
Trust Akins Auto Repair with your next automotive alternator replacement service.
If you are having issues with your charging/starting system we are here to help. Detecting an issue with a faulty alternator, battery or starter is something we are able to determine. Here at Akin’s Auto Repair we provide services such as: alternator replacements, starter replacements, battery replacements, detection and repair of electrical shorts and drains, power door lock and window diagnostic and repair and correction of vehicle lighting issues[license plate lights, tail lights/brake lights, headlight bulbs, including factory xenon bulbs]. We do not provide service for aftermarket lighting/electrical items.
We offer service and repair for most manufacturers.
Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jeep, Kia, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mercury, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Scion, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen
How an Alternator Works
An alternator is a device that uses a rotating iron shaft that is wound with very thin copper wires into what is called a field winding. The ends of the windings are connected to a regulated voltage source. As the vehicle needs more voltage, the electrical system provides more electrical current, which is applied to the field windings on the rotating iron core (the “rotor”). This creates a magnetic field that induces AC voltage into a surrounding set of copper windings (called the “stator” because it is stationary). The AC voltage from the stator flows through a set of one-way electrical gates called diodes. The diodes only allow DC voltage back into the electrical system by way of the B+ or battery output terminal on the back of the alternator that is directly cabled to the positive terminal on the battery.
BAD ALTERNATOR SYMPTOMS:
The failing alternator symptom most drivers recognize is dim or flickering lights. This is really obvious when headlights are on at night but also noticeable in dash lights and the center dome light. If the lights brighten as RPMs pick up, that’s even more of a sure sign.
Service engine light
Another obvious sign is the one your vehicle tries to tell you. This varies by the model, but when the alternator starts to let go, it can light up a “Check Engine,” “ALT,” or a battery icon indicator.
The serpentine belt could have stretched with age and may not be spinning the alternator pulley effectively, leading to a lack of charge. This typically results in a squealing noise. On the other hand, the internal bearings can wear out, causing a growl or grinding noise.
Electrical vehicle equipment, like power seats or windows, may be slow to operate. Without enough power, sometimes the device will not function or will suddenly stop working, like the radio turning itself off.
If the engine suddenly cuts while driving, it could be an alternator issue. Fuel injection needs a good amount of electrical power, and without it the engine quickly stalls.
Without a functioning alternator, the vehicle quickly uses up all of the battery’s capacity, leaving it drained. Pop the hood and check the battery, and you might think you’ve found the culprit. A fresh battery and a malfunctioning alternator, however, will quickly leave you stranded again. Here’s what to do.