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.

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: Loose feeling on the front of car when passing over potholes

Hi there. If you roll over a pot hole or bump in the road, while pressing your brakes, this could indicate a problem with the brake master cylinder or other component that impacts brake pressure. To be honest, without test...

Q: Gearshift comes out of Park when engine off

Hello. I am so sorry this happened to you. It is likely that the thief did irreversible damage to the shifter, immobilizer system, and the ignition system when trying to force the vehicle to start. I suggest that the vehicle...

Q: Car won't start

This problem sounds like the battery is not charged enough to start the car. You should try and get a jump start so you can test the charging system and battery. You may have a defective battery, loose or bad...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...