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Chevrolet Tahoe Alternator

Signs That Your Chevrolet Tahoe Alternator is Failing

When the alternator of your Chevrolet Tahoe is not working correctly, you cannot miss it. Here are some obvious signs that your Chevrolet Tahoe alternator is failing:

The car doesn't start, and the battery is dead.

Technically, this isn't an alternator problem, but if your battery is dead, you can trace the problem to a faulty alternator. Since your battery is only designed to provide enough power to get the engine started and relies on the alternator for power, it is easy to rule out the problem, whether it is the battery or the alternator. All you need to do is to jump-start your Tahoe. Once the engine starts, remove the cables right away. You'll know if the alternator is the problem if the engine dies again. But if your vehicle continues to run, the problem is likely the battery.

Warning light stays on, and the electronics don't work.

Before you turn the engine on, several lights illuminate on the instrument cluster. These lights turn off after a few seconds or after starting the engine. If the light that is shaped like a battery stays on, there is a problem with your alternator-many mistaken this as a battery problem. This light is linked to your vehicle's computer that monitors the electric output of your alternator. If the current goes above or below the pre-set limit, the "battery" light illuminates and stays illuminated. When this happens, all the electric accessories in your vehicle will start working erratically. Your lights may start dimming or flickering. The headlights may be excessively bright or dim. Your dash lights, tachometers, speedometers, and all the other devices may stop working or work erratically.

You notice a burning-rubber smell.

At this point, you have to use your senses to check the condition of your alternator. Start the engine and keep it running for a few minutes. If you can smell a burning rubber, then check the alignment of the belt. Use your other senses too. Feel the alternator. If it is too hot, parts inside may be failing soon. See if there is loose or missing belt. Check the belt visually for cracks and wear. Repair or replace your alternator or its components to correct the problem.

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  • How to Maintain Your Chevrolet Tahoe Alternator

    The Chevrolet Tahoe alternator is a relatively simple component, but plays a critical role in your vehicle's operation. Essentially, it is the part of the vehicle that keeps the vehicle running. The alternator produces alternating current (AC) that charges the battery and keeps the engine from dying, because when the battery loses its charge, your engine and all the other electrical components and accessories of the vehicle go along with it. That said, keeping your Chevrolet Tahoe alternator well maintained is as important as maintaining all other parts of your SUV.

    Know when to replace your alternator.

    The life of your alternator ultimately depends on how often you use your car and other electrical accessories. However, limiting the use of radio, wipers, heated seats, and other devices is not the right way to save your alternator because it will start to fail and requires repair or replacement anyway. What should you do then? Be mindful of the life of your vehicle and take action once you see that your alternator is failing. Most alternators still work well over 100,000 miles, while there are cases when alternators give up as early as 40,000 miles. So if your vehicle is already hovering between these figures. And that's all you need to do instead of opting to turn off your car A/C in the middle of summer.

    Don't ignore the telltale signs of alternator problems.

    You know if your alternator is starting to fail. And when you do, don't ignore it. Since alternators are responsible for the supplying the power to your car, electronic components may start to fail or work intermittently. Lights can get dimmer or brighter than normal. Your radio may start to fail when you rev up your vehicle. Your engine may not start, and if it does, it soon does. While there are other factors that can cause any of these to happen, everything may lead to alternator problem, especially if most of these scenarios happen at the same time.

    Check the alternator belt regularly.

    The alternator is not the only thing you should be mindful about. The alternator belt should be checked regularly for cracks and excessive wear. Recommended time to replace the alternator belt is once every 4 years or every 30,000 to 60,000 miles.