Q: When my alternator went out, could it have killed my battery?

asked by on March 16, 2017

I just replaced my alternator today. On my way home the ABS and airbag light both came on and my radio and headlight began to dim then it just died. The emergency flashers wouldn't work either. The car wouldn't start so I got jumped and about 30 seconds to a minute later, same thing happened. And I forgot to mention that the battery light did not come on. Can anyone please help?

My car has 190000 miles.

Hello, thank you for writing in. The symptoms you are having are classic of a failing alternator. While the battery can be damaged and fail due to the vehicle relying solely on it for power while running, you will want to have both tested. The battery is used to help connect the charging circuit, but the alternator should be able to power the vehicle without the battery while the engine runs. Also make sure the battery cables and ground connections are all clean, dry, and tight. Luckily both should be able to be tested at your local parts store rather quickly, or at home with a voltmeter if equipped. If the replacement alternator was a re-manufactured or new part, then it should be under warranty if it was faulty. This happens but is not terribly common, so make sure you check the battery and connections before getting another replacement alternator. For more help with testing, contact our service department to schedule an appointment.

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