An alternator is a simple yet one of the most critical parts of a car. It helps the driver to start the vehicle faster. A faulty alternator can’t do this crucial task efficiently, resulting in various engine problems. But can a bad alternator cause a misfire?
A damaged alternator can cause misfiring. It transforms chemical energy into electrical energy and supplies power to various vehicle parts. In addition, the car’s battery dies soon if it isn’t charged correctly.
Remember, the battery helps in many ways to start the ignition. So, without ignition, a misfire is likely to happen.
Numerous symptoms will tell you that the alternator has gone wrong. But you can’t identify them with limited experience. Knowing the potential signs helps to rebuild this essential component faster.
Possible Signs Behind A Broken Alternator
If you’re a new driver facing an alternator issue, knowing some crucial signs will help you understand the severity of the situation. From heated seat problems to the temperature gauge issue, most cars exhibit the same type of symptoms for a lousy alternator.
So, if the signs may confuse you, go through this discussion to understand them properly.
The headlights start to fade continuously when the alternator is damaged. Since the alternator can’t provide enough power to the vehicle’s battery, the headlights don’t receive enough power, and sometimes you need to adjust the headlights.
Illuminated Battery Icon Light
An illuminated battery icon light is another indicator of a faulty alternator. But it can vary depending on the car’s model and brand. The check engine light or traction control light stays on in many vehicles while indicating this issue.
Electrical parts, primarily windows and power seats, sky one touch respond slowly if the alternator fails. It also hampers the radio and interior lighting’s performance. You might smell burnt rubber when you face an alternator failure.
As mentioned earlier, the alternator provides power or charges the battery. So, you can already guess that a defective alternator can’t charge the battery quickly or when it needs energy. As a result, your Diehard or Interstate battery dies quickly.
You’ll hear ear-piercing noise if you drive with a faulty alternator. Sometimes, it results in misfiring. Mostly, the serpentine belt fails with time and can’t rotate the alternator pulley smoothly. A less-charged battery and worn-out bearings are responsible for making these noises.
Simple Method Of Finding A Faulty Alternator
Well, you must confirm the alternator is failing and causing the engine to misfire before you replace it. This method will be your best choice if you want to find it like a pro mechanic.
Use a code reader to the diagnostic port if the “Check Engine” light is on. For example, the P0562 DTC code confirms the alternator issue. However, it might vary depending on your car’s brand, model, and year.
Look at the serpentine belt if you don’t see any warning light. A burned and shiny belt will ensure the serpentine belt has failed.
Attach the battery’s positive terminal to the multimeter’s positive side and the negative lead to the negative terminal. Set the meter to 20V D and see if it displays 12.6 volts.
Cross-check the voltage after turning the engine ON. The alternator is fine when you notice the multimeter reading is around 14.2 volts. The electrical parts like the radio, window and internal lights will function soundly if the voltage is stable.
The meter should continue to show more than 13 volts unless the alternator is damaged. Sometimes, parts like rectifiers, wirings, and brush get rusty with time resulting in an alternator failure.
Step-By-Step Guide To Fix A Defective Alternator
You may think fixing an alternator is quite elementary and takes hardly any time. But it’s a lengthy process. Also, if you want to save some bucks, you might want to rebuild it. Even an experienced mechanic needs at least two hours to fix it.
How about rebuilding the alternator like a mechanic? This stepwise guide will make it simple for you to remake your car’s alternator.
Step 01: Detach Battery Leads
First, locate the vehicle’s battery. Then, use a suitable wrench to detach the battery leads. It would be best if you separated the air cleaner for easy entry to the alternator.
Step 02: Undo The Electrical Leads And Serpentine Belt
Before you take out the electrical leads:
1. Mark their positions so you can reattach them easily.
2. Take out the electrical leads.
3. Detach the serpentine belt once you’ve removed the tips.
4. Remember to take a good look at the mounting and bolts.
Step 03: Remove The Alternator
Withdraw the alternator when you’ve detached all the mountings and bolts. Separate the back plastic cover carefully when you’ve unscrewed it.
Step 04: Inspect The Bearings
Check out the alternator’s bearings arrangements. You must replace the bearing if it doesn’t make any noise while spinning or looks disconnected.
First, change the bearing while unscrewing the resistor. Then, memorize the wiring arrangement before you disconnect them.
Step 05: Install New Rectifier
It would be best to pull out the rectifier leads first and then separate the mountings. Detach the rectifier after unmounting it. Replace the defective rectifier with a new one and organize the parts. Don’t forget to attach the rectifier leads.
Step 06: Change Brush Assembly
The brushes are organized beside the rectifier. Unscrew each meeting from its place. Clear the debris in the armature shaft-brush joint. Make sure the brush’s back springs directly press the brush slot. Now, install the new brush assembly.
Step 07: Take Out The Voltage Regulator
Detach the brush assembly’s rear screw to remove the voltage regulator. Don’t forget to take out the ground lead’s screw. Now, install the voltage regulator following the same process.
Step 08: Check the Current Flow
Before reconstructing the alternator, check the current flow through diodes using an ohmmeter. If the current flow matches the average value, you’ve done it correctly.
Step 09: Change Plastic Cover
After inspecting the current flow, change the old plastic cover to a new one. Also, install new resistors while changing the plastic cover.
Step 10: Reinstall The Alternator
Now, reassemble the alternator parts and construct the alternator again. Then, put the newly constructed alternator in the exact spot in the engine section.
Step 11: Reconnect Electrical Leads
Do you remember we told you to mark the electric lead spots? Now, use these marks to reconnect these leads properly. Attaching these leads means you’ve performed it accurately till now.
Step 12: Install New Serpentine Belt
Free the ratchet once the belt is securely fastened to the pulleys. Then, carefully adjust the belt’s tension so that the tensioner may apply pressure to the belt once more.
Step 13: Change The Air Cleaner
You can change the air cleaner or use the same one. Follow a mechanic’s manual to understand the mounting. Check the heat shields behind the alternator before you reconnect the leads.
You can reinstall the alternator easily after inspecting these crucial factors.
You can drive without tension when the alternator is working smoothly. However, you should pay attention to the alternator issue as it might create an engine shutting-off issue to electrical problems in your vehicle. Otherwise, it might create problems in your Chevy 305 engine.
We hope the analysis about whether a bad alternator causes a misfire has guided you to the proper solutions. Try to check out the serpentine belt regularly. Remember, you can’t go on a long drive with a defective alternator. So, it’s better to ask for an expert’s help to resolve the damaged alternator issue ASAP.