Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Alternator Belt

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Alternator Belt

alternator belt

Keeping a car’s battery charged is the job of an alternator. Without this key piece of equipment, the battery would die after only a short amount of driving. In order for the alternator to keep charging, it will have to continue to spin. This spinning is made possible by the belt that runs from the pulley on the alternator to the crankshaft. The belt does a very specific job and without it, the alternator will not be able to provide the constant charge the battery needs when the car is running.

The longer that the same alternator belt is on the car, the higher the risk will be that it has to be replaced. The type of belt around your alternator will depend solely on the make of your vehicle. Older cars will use a V-belt for the alternator while newer cars will use a serpentine belt.

1. Battery light is on

When the battery light on your instrument cluster comes on, you will need to pay attention. While this light does not tell you exactly what is wrong with your car’s charging system, it is the first line of defense in getting the issues addressed. Taking a look under the hood is the best way to see if a broken alternator belt is the cause of the battery light being turned on.

2. Dimming or flickering interior lights

The lights on the inside of your car are used primarily during the nighttime hours. When there are problems with the charging system, these lights will usually flicker or become very dim. A broken belt will prohibit the alternator from doing its job and can be the cause of the lights on the interior of your car becoming dim or flickering. Replacing the belt is essential in restoring the lights back to normal.

3. Engine stalls

Without a properly working alternator and alternator belt, the power that the car needs will not be supplied. This means that when the battery dies out, the car will be rendered unusable. Having this happen on the side of a busy road or highway can create a lot of problems. Getting the alternator belt replaced is the only way to get the car back on the road quickly.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Still not sure about your car's issue?
Diagnose your car
What kind of issue are you experiencing?
Brakes are squeaking
Car is not starting
Car is overheating
Car is shaking (vibrating)
Fluids are leaking
Heating and A/C
Smoke or steam is coming out of the car
Warning light is on
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....


Related questions

Q: Screeching noise after belt replaced

Hi. Your vehicle has belts that are manually adjustable. If they are replaced and the tension is not set correctly, they will squeal. I suggest you have a trained mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, adjust your belts to specification....

Q: Can I use an alternator from a 2002 maxima on my 2001 Maxima?

I cross referenced the part numbers for your alternator. I looked on www.autozone.com and they did match up for Duralast alternators. However, I don't know what brand you are asking about so there is no 100% certainty that it will...

Q: my battery light stays on

You need to check to make sure the large power wire to the alternator is getting power. If it is not then you may have to check the wire from alternator to the battery fuse box for burned out wires...