Most of us rely heavily on a functioning vehicle. There is nothing more frustrating than getting into your car and it does not start. Several parts of your vehicle work together when you power it up and if one of them fails, you may end up with this problem.
Most likely the reason for the issue is either the battery, alternator, starter or loose connection. At ProSpark Auto Electrical, our team explained the differences between the problems and what common symptoms for each failure are.
How do I know that my car battery is failing?
Batteries usually last three to five years and it is often the first point of investigation when your vehicle is not starting.
A good battery should be at least 75 percent charged and is able to accept and hold the charge. If your battery’s voltage is low or it does not recharge, then you may require a new one. Without your battery, the starter of your vehicle won’t work.
Signs for a faulty battery can include that:
- Your car won’t start and the lights won’t come on
- The engine cranks sluggishly but won’t start
- The car makes low whining noises when you try to start it
- You had to jump start your car several times in a short period of time
- You have had experienced issues starting your car on a regular basis, especially on colder days
- The battery warning light is illuminated which can indicate an issue with the alternator resulting in a flat battery.
If you can jumpstart your car, it most likely is a battery problem. You should, however, also check if there may be any underlying issues. A failing alternator can cause a dead or low battery, too.
What is the difference between a starter and alternator?
The alternator is an electrical generator in your vehicle that charges the battery. When you start the engine, the alternator generates electricity. It is connected to the engine with the assistance of a drive belt. The electricity that the alternator generates is then used to charge your car battery. It also supplies the electricity for your car’s electronics when you are driving.
Alternators usually last for eight to twelve years depending on the milage of the vehicle. They can, however, stop working without any warning. Once that happens, your battery won’t be able to be recharged. It can also lead to a loss of learned data in modules such as the powertrain control module of your vehicle.
Some signs that your alternator is not working are:
- Battery warning light is illuminated
- Headlights or the dashboard lights are dimmer as usual
- Your stereo system output doesn’t sound as usual
- The engine starts but then stalls underway or dies after a jumpstart
- Squealing sound from the engine or whining sound when you hit the gas
If you can turn all the lights on in your car and sound system just fine but your car won’t start, the starter might be the issue.
The starter is an electric motor that sits on the side of the engine. It gets its power from the battery. When you turn your key or press the start button in your vehicle, the starter rotates and starts the engine. If your starter doesn’t work, your vehicle simply won’t start.
Signs of a malfunctioning starter are:
- Your vehicle makes a clicking sound when you try starting it
- All lights are working but your car won’t start
- Jumpstarting doesn’t work as the engine doesn’t turn over
How much is a new starter?
The cost for a new starter including installation can range from $200 to $600 on average. The price depends on the type of vehicle and replacement time.
How much is a new alternator installed?
Installing a new alternator is a task that our team often takes care of for our clients. The alternator replacement cost varies depending on vehicle type and replacement time. Usually, the price ranges from $200 to $800 on average.
Starter & Alternator Replacement Burleigh Heads
No matter whether it is a dead battery, alternator or starter, our ProSpark Auto Electrical team is here to support you and get you back on the road. To book an appointment, contact us online today or call us on 0432 579 906.
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