Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Burning wire smell coming from the alternator

asked by on

My truck began to make a howling noise while driving yesterday afternoon under the hood I checked all the fluid levels everything good and today I cranked it up still howling on my way home the battery light came on but its brand new I let it sit and cranked it up again battery light was off but after running for like 5 minutes it came back on and smoke was coming from under the hood smelt like a wire was burning the smoke was coming from the alternator what should I do

My car has 163 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The howling sound you are hearing is most likely your alternator failing. When it starts to make this kind of sound, this is a sign of the bearings inside beginning to fail (hence the whining noise) or the diodes inside failing which is what will cause it to also fail to charge the battery correctly. You are driving on borrowed time right now and should have this fixed very soon as it is only a matter of time before it fails completely. If you need help with this repair, I would recommend having an expert form YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and replace your alternator as necessary.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Burning wire smell coming from the alternator

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Rain leaks in until puddles form

As far as the exact cause of the leak, it sounds like it could be any one of a few problems: the weatherstripping on the front door window/pillar seal could be damaged, the grommets at the bottom of the front...

Q: Need O2 sensors replaced. There asking $1,500

Hi there: You might want to have a second opinion completed for your Dodge Durango air fuel mixture sensor replacement; as if they are simply replacing the O2 front and rear bank sensors; that's a bit pricey.

Q: Something draining the battery

If it ran for 30 minutes after a jump, the alternator is probably ok. I would start by checking the battery first. Alternators are not designed to charge a dead battery. A good battery, that is completely dead, takes more...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.