Alternator faulty? All you need to know

Alternator faulty? All you need to know

Mercedes in der Werkstatt

The alternator plays a crucial role in the electrics of any car. It supplies not only the car battery with power, but also many other electrical components of the vehicle. A defect at this point can lead to considerable problems, but how do you recognize such a defect and what measures should you take? In this blog post we give answers.

Symptoms of an alternator failure
A defect in the alternator is usually indicated by various symptoms:

  1. Weak or flickering lighting: If headlights, interior lighting or dashboard lighting lose intensity or flicker abnormally, this may indicate a problem with the alternator.
  2. Difficulty starting: If the battery has difficulty providing enough energy for the starting process, this may also be due to a defect in the alternator.
  3. Warning sounds: A squeaking noise often associated with the V-belt can also be a sign of a problem with the alternator.
  4. Warning light: Many cars have a special warning light for the alternator or charging system that lights up when a problem is detected.

Alternator faulty – What now?
If you suspect that your alternator is defective, you should not hesitate:

  • Professional inspection: Drive immediately to a workshop and have the alternator checked. A simple test can often provide clarity quickly.
  • Stop driving: A defect in the alternator can cause the battery to stop charging. The risk of getting stuck increases considerably.

Causes of a defect
The reasons for an alternator failure can be manifold:

  • Wear: Like many car parts, the alternator can wear out over time, especially the carbon brushes.
  • Incorrect installation: An incorrectly installed V-belt can lead to overloading of the alternator.
  • Electrical problems: Short circuits or other electrical defects can also be a cause.

Cost of the repair

The cost of repairing or replacing an alternator varies depending on the car model and workshop. In general, the prices for a new alternator range from 100€ to 500€. In addition, there are costs for installation, which usually range between 50 € and 200 €. An exact cost list is best obtained directly from your workshop.

And if it is not worth fixing?

There are situations when the cost of repair exceeds the value of the vehicle. In such cases, the sale of the vehicle may be worth considering. A platform like, which specializes in buying vehicles regardless of their condition, can help here. This provides an uncomplicated way to get a reasonable price for the defective car without much effort.


A defect of the alternator should not be taken lightly. If there are signs of a problem, you should act quickly and visit a workshop. And if a repair seems uneconomical, there are still ways to sell the vehicle advantageously.

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