Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How to check if your altinator alternator is out?

asked by on

My van wouldn't start and it kept making a clicking sound every time I tried to turn it on. So I jump started it and headed to AutoZone for a battery. But how do I know if it's running on the battery alone or both. How can i test the altenator?

My car has 23345 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: You are most likely driving on the alternat...

You are most likely driving on the alternator to get there. The battery and alternator can only be examined with a tester device. Do not try and disconnect the battery cable while it is running or you will damage the computer modules in the vehicle. You need to have the battery checked first and replace if it is bad, then check and replace the alternator if necessary. I would suggest having one of our mobile technicians come to your home to run these checks and properly diagnose your starting issue firsthand for an accurate repair.

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

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: Horn no longer working

Start with checking the fuses, your owners manual will have a diagram explaining where the fuse boxes are and which one is for the horn. If the fuses are good, the issue could be the horn button, wiring to the...

Q: Starter not working properly.

This vehicle may have one of several different causes for this problem and would need to be identified by a qualified mechanic to narrow the problem down. The most common problems are the battery, starter, ignition switch, starter interlock relay...

Q: Cranks but won't start

You are right on track. You may be dealing with several issues at once. The first thing you should do for this starting issue is check for proper spark. You need to check with an actual tester, and do a...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
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.