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How can i tell if my alternator isn't working?

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Start the vehicle and remove the positive cable from the battery if the vehicle dies the alternator needs to be checked and it is most likely bad. Hope this helps.

Posted on Dec 07, 2016

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Alternator fuse


The alternator may not be getting a voltage signal from the gauge or warning light to activate it, or it may be charging but the current is not reaching the battery due to a problem with the 10 gauge wire.

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I think my alternator isn't wired right. I need a diagram so I can rewire it. Does anybody have one?


And if you could tell us the year, make, and specific model we might be able to help

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The car battery is fine but no electrecial


sounds like the alternator isn't working check the belt first

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I've been having a problem with my 2000


No.dont diconnect the negative or positive battery at all The alternator only produces 2 volts above battery voltage so a total of 14 volts. If you dont have a volt meter get a small screw driver be careful doing this if you can safely access the back of the alternator (without shorting anything out)in the midddle of the alternator will be magnetic. That will tell you its charging or better yet get a compass and put it at the battery positive terminal and it will swing that tell you its charging. You disconnect the negative the whole car shuts off you disconnect the positive the car stay running but produces high voltage and can damage the alternator itself

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The battery light stays on even after we replaced the battery


the battery light is telling you the charging system isn't working, check the Alternator.

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I went to go to work this morning and my truck kinda struggled to start and the battery light was on till i drove about a mile. i got to work and turned off my truck and forgot to roll up my window. i...


Unfortunately, it is not your battery! When the jump start did not work, it ruled out the charging system - alternator and battery, as the primary problem. It is in your start system or something in the engine in binding up. If you take off the serpentine belt and can turn your crank shaft with a wrench, that tells you that the engine isn't froze up; but you need to rotate all belt driven components to make sure it isn't one of them froze up.

But if all those results were negative, then you are back to the starting system.

Aug 30, 2011 | Ford F-250 Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

The battery is good..how can i tell if its the alternator


Most auto parts stores offer testing for free. A volt meter can also be used to check alternator output. Connect the meter leads to the battery. The voltage should be at least 12 volts. If it isn't, then find out why. Just because a battery is new does not mean it is fully charged. If the battery voltage is OK, then start the engine and observe the meter. It should now read approx. 13.5-14.5 volts. If it does, then the alternator is charging. If it isn't, then the alternator should be tested. While your at it, you might as well check your belt tensioner for proper operation.
1. leave the engine running and the meter connected.
2. Turn on your lights and other accessories. (heater, radio, high beams)
3. Observe the meter reading.
The voltage should remain between 13.5-14.5 volts. If it doesn't, then determine the cause and repair as needed. If it does, then the tensioner and belt are probably OK. I hope this information is helpful to you and thanks for using FixYa.

Jul 29, 2011 | 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt

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My car keeps dying out, could it be the battery or alternator?


unlikely, if it starts the battery is good because it just started the car and the alternator is good because it charged the battery the prior time it was running. i would put some thought into a fuel supply problem, such as the pressure falling off rapidly after a start; or something getting hot in the ignition systrem and failing causing a loss of spark.

Jul 25, 2011 | 1993 Ford Probe

1 Answer

The belt in my car is not moving. The pulley attached to the altenator is not moving


...is the engine running?
If the belt is moving but the alternator pulley isn't, it's seized and the alternator needs to be replaced.
If the belt isn't moving at all, it probably slipped off the crank pulley.

May 09, 2011 | 1993 Ford Tempo

1 Answer

I got in my car this morning and I have two warning lights on - one is the VSC TRAC and the other is a funny looking (kinda like a battery) that says check under it. Can you tell me what these mean?


The battery light indicates your alternator is not charging the battery. Sometimes this will cause other lights to come on. I would check the alternator first. The voltage at the battery should be at least 14 volts DC with the engine running. If it isn't, remove the alternator and have it tested. If the voltage is good, please get back to me for additional suggestions, and thanks for using FixYa.

May 05, 2011 | 2007 Toyota 4Runner

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