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: I wanted to buy a used 2008 Porsche Cayenne s. Is it a good idea and would it cost me a fortune maintaining and repairing?

Hi there. All luxury vehicles have a higher cost in maintenance. I recommend making a list of maintenance that you think would need to be done on a 2008 Porsche and call around to get estimates on the repair cost....

Q: Car overheating and losing power

Were you having any problems before having the plugs wires and spark plugs changed the first time? I have seen instances where not all of the spark plugs were changed because the back 3 plugs can be difficult to reach....

Q: I have a new battery, and my car starts with a jumper cable, but it won't restart after driving and shutting the engine off.

This suggests you may have a bad grounding issue or potentially a faulty alternator. As you may know, the alternator is what charges your car's battery when the car is running. When this is not working properly, your battery will...

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 to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
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...