Top 10 Signs of Alternator Problems


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Slow Accessories
Trouble with power windows or power sunroofs could be a sign of a failing alternator. Slobo/Getty Images

Are your power windows whining at your simple command to open or close? Is the stereo swallowing CDs or did the power sunroof get stuck open? Modern car features are great right up until the moment they're not, and the complex computers and wiring systems that operate our power accessories lend more opportunity for something to go wrong.

It's possible, of course, for any of these features to break at any time. Motors go bad, wires get crossed, and all manner of glitches can happen. If you notice one electrical quirk, you'll want to get that specific feature checked out. If you're experiencing several issues at once, though, it's probably not a coincidence. Your alternator is one of the most likely sources for electrical problems, and you might not even notice that your car is running with reduced electricity until you make additional demands on the system, such as turning on an interior light or trying to adjust your windows. Avoid using these features as much as possible until you can get your car checked out, to reduce the chances of actual alternator failure.

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