Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Oil leaked from gasket and destroyed alternator

asked by on

I was driving at 50 mph when my car suffered catastrophic loss of all the electrical power: no brakes, no power steering, and no engine power. I could not get it to restart. I learned on the internet that this problem has been experienced by others of my make/model. I read that an oil gasket leak drips oil on the alternator which produced loss of electrical power and causes the engine to die. My dealer concluded that the oil had leaked from the gasket and had destroyed the alternator. I definitely consider this a serious risk and safety hazard! Serious accidents could result from this problem. Can you tell me what to do to prevent this from ever happening again?

Hey there! This done sound like a dangerous situation. The oil that leaked onto the alternator was the cause for the failure, so the oil leak was to blame. Fix the oil leak properly and maintain a good oil change schedule and the issue shouldn’t happen again for a long time. Make sure that you have the oil leak, alternator, and future services conducted by a professional with OEM quality parts in order to have this taken care of properly.

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!

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: Power steering fluid leak.

Hello, a power steering leak is something that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later, so the pump doesn't run dry and cause internal damage. The most common leak in the power steering is the power steering reservoir where...

Q: Voltage drop noticed during night driving. The headlights dim and then return to normal.

This may be a sign of a failing voltage regulator or potentially a bad ground connection. As you may know, the voltage regulator regulates the charging of the battery by the alternator. When the voltage regulator is not working properly,...

Q: Car vibrates; clanking noise

It sounds like you may have more than one issue with your car. The vibrating sounds like a wheel bearing and the clanking noise sounds like you might have a ball joint or a tie rod end that is worn...

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...
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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...