Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Potential electrical issue? Already replaced alternator and battery.

asked by on

One day, my radio cut out while driving, I had to manually assist in bringing my windows back up, the dash lights were dimming, and the gauges were rapidly going back and forth or completely dead (even though the car was moving). After shutting it off at home, it wouldn't start again. Mechanic replaced the battery for me and the car was running great for about 3 weeks. Then the same symptoms happened again. I took it back and they said the issue could've been missed the first time if the alternator was intermittently failing. So, they replaced the alternator. Again, the car was running great for another 3-4 weeks. I just experienced the same exact symptoms as described above. Is this something deeper than battery and alternator? Any experience or advice would be appreciated.

My car has 137000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi there. I understand how frustrating thin...

Hi there. I understand how frustrating things like this can be. I don’t think you have any serious underlying electrical problems with the car. What I believe may be happening is simply a case of bad luck with aftermarket parts; this is not as uncommon as you would think.

You may have had any combination of bad battery and alternator. It is unfortunate, but these items will need to be retested and confirmed whether or not this is the case. If they do test ok, then we would be sure there is an underlying issue.

A quick visual of the battery terminals and alternator belt are easy ways to check the little things that get overlooked the most; a loose terminal or belt has a direct affect of the vehicle’s charging and electrical system.

YourMechanic has several available technicians that can assist you with an electrical problems inspection and provide an estimate and direction of 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: Charging System Not Working (Alternator is not kicking in)

The battery should be load tested by a professional. Load testing can only be reliably performed on a fully charged battery. If the battery passes a load test, you have to be sure it is NOT a marginal pass in...

Q: Clutch pedal goes to the floor and doesn't return

Hello, thanks for your question. You could watch the clutch fluid as it mentions in the test, but this really doesn't tell you much. Most of the time this is caused by a bad clutch master cylinder. If the fluid...

Q: Hi I have a Polo 2013 Comfortline and I've been struggling to get it running

Hello. If the vehicle was struck by lightning, then chances are that the gateway is bad. Most of the time, this sort of damage will require the replacement of every module in the vehicle. None will be protected from this...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...