Every time you start your Dodge, the steps that are taken to enable the vehicle to start may not be readily apparent. The first step in the in the starting process is the battery, but without the Dodge alternator, the battery would not have the power to supply the starter with enough current to start the engine. While your vehicle is running, the Dodge alternator is constantly working. It obviously charges the battery, but what many people do not realize is that it provides all the power while the vehicle is running, as well. If the Dodge alternator were to fail, the vehicle would have to rely on battery power only, and that is sure to be a short trip, especially if extra accessories such as the heater and lights are used. Fortunately, the Dodge alternator is designed to be a redundant system, unlike the DC generator that it replaced in common usage. The Dodge alternator actually houses three separate sources of alternating current, and alternating current is the same type of electricity as the type in your house. Through some innovative technical wizardry, the Dodge alternator combines these three sources of power and converts them into the direct current that the vehicle relies upon. When one of the individual sources of electricity within the Dodge alternator fails, the total output is reduced. Eventually the rest of the unit will fail from increased demand. Our online catalog has the perfect replacement for your old Dodge alternator, typically at a lower price than what the dealership would charge. With our quick shipping, you will have your new Dodge alternator in your hands soon.
Common Indications of a Defective Dodge Alternator
With the task of producing electrical charge to recharge your battery, a failing alternator will result in a stalling vehicle. Without the battery recharging, the electrical systems inside the vehicle drain the electrical charge in the battery and will eventually stop functioning. A bad diode inside the alternator as well as driving for long span of time under hot weather can also cause your Dodge alternator to fail.
When you turn on the headlight and step on the accelerator, observe the headlights. If the headlights flicker, become brighter, or become dimmer, your Dodge alternator may be failing. You may also notice that while driving during nighttime, your headlight may glow very dimly.
Illuminated charge light
When you see the charge light or battery light is illuminated, this is a direct indication that your Dodge alternator is malfunctioning.
Vehicle needs to be jump-started
If your vehicle does not start on its own and needs to be jump-started, this is a sign of a defective alternator. Moreover, once you remove the jump-start cables and your vehicle runs for a while but then stalls, requiring another jump-start, this is also an indication of a faulty alternator.
Vehicle stalls when negative cable is removed
If your Dodge vehicle stalls or dies when the negative cable is removed from the battery while the engine is running, your Dodge alternator may not be functioning well. This means that the alternator is not producing sufficient electricity to keep the engine running on its own. You can check first for the battery voltage while the engine is running and the battery is fully charged. With a multimeter, probe the positive battery terminal with the red test lead. The black test lead, on the other hand, goes to the battery negative terminal. The test reading will show either a steady 13.5 to 14.5 volts DC or a 12.5 volts DC that decreases while the engine stays running. Then, turn on everything that uses electricity inside the vehicle, such as the air conditioning or heater, windshield wipers, headlights, and other signalling lights. If the multimeter displays a steady 13.5 to 14.5 volts DC even when you open these accessories, this means that your alternator is not the problem. However, if the multimeter registers a 12.5 volts DC that decreases when you turn on more things inside the vehicle, this tells you that your alternator is defective and not charging the battery.
Other troubleshooting tips
When performing the headlight test, make sure to do it in open areas to guarantee no carbon monoxide build-up. There is no definite way to know for sure that an alternator is defective. You can only be certain of a bad alternator by having it tested. Another thing that causes an alternator to not charge is a blown inline fusible link, which prevents the alternator's charging output from reaching the battery. A continuity test is usually conducted to determine whether you have a blown link or not. Most automotive service centers offer alternator testing for a fee.