Getting to the Root of Dodge Sprinter 3500 Alternator Problems
Having a dead alternator is synonymous to having a dead vehicle. Your lights, radio, battery, A/C system, and all other electrical components in your Dodge will fail to function properly and ultimately die the moment your alternator stops supplying an adequate amount of electricity. It's like dying a slow death on the road. First, your light assembly will start to flicker and grow dim. Then, the darkness will be followed by silence as your car radio and A/C goes out. Last to exit the scene would be your car's battery. You'll know you've reached the point of death once your battery loses its power completely, as this is your car's last and only source of electricity in the event of alternator malfunction. Since the battery doesn't have the capacity to supply the amount of electricity necessary to keep your vehicle going, it is a must to ensure your alternator's working properly all the time. Of course, problems can't be avoided, but they can certainly be nipped in the bud before they worsen. Here's a quick troubleshooting guide to help you get to the root of your Dodge Sprinter 3500 alternator problems:
Odd grinding or squealing noise
If you keep hearing this kind of noise from your engine, then you need to check on your alternator's bearings. Grinding or squealing noises from the alternator indicate bad bearings. When bearings start to wear out, they become extremely and annoyingly noisy. The noise usually continues until the bearings break down completely, causing your alternator to function poorly. Aside from bad bearings, the grinding noise may also indicate a worn or overheated alternator rotor. If you encounter these problems, try adjusting your fan belt to the proper tension level and see if this will make any difference. Although proper belt adjustment may do the trick for some, it's only a temporary fix. Replacing the worn bearings and faulty rotor is still the best way to solve this problem.
Whining noises combined with diminished alternator power are signs of diode failure. If the diodes in your alternator are failing, the alternating current (AC) won't be converted to the direct current (DC) necessary to keep your battery fully charged. This will cause the alternator to produce less electricity than usual, eventually resulting in complete power loss. Replace bad diodes right away to restore your alternator's power to full capacity.
Tips in Caring for Your Dodge Sprinter 3500 Alternator
When the power of your Dodge Sprinter 3500 alternator diminishes, expect the performance of your battery and electrical components to go down the drain as well. The alternator breathes life to all electrical devices in your vehicle, and it keeps your car's battery going. If it malfunctions or fails, your battery will discharge until it can no longer supply electricity to your vehicle. As a result, all electrical functions in your vehicle will cease to work completely. Generally, an alternator may last for at least 40,000 miles, but it can still give you good service for up to 100,000 miles as long as you perform regular maintenance and routine inspections. Keeping your Dodge Sprinter 3500 alternator in tiptop working condition will not only preserve your battery, but it will also spare your wallet from unnecessary and ridiculously high repair costs. We've listed a few tips that can help prolong your alternator's life.
Perform routine visual inspections on the alternator pulleys.
Routine inspections may not be of much help when the alternator pulleys are already damaged beyond repair, but checking them regularly may keep them from falling into that dreaded condition. Inspecting the pulleys will help reveal signs of nicks and gouges on the surface, which will allow you to do the necessary repairs and replacements before the alternator's performance is affected. Aside from signs of damage, performing routine inspections will also help you see whether the pulleys are in correct alignment. If the pulleys are not aligned properly, you'll be facing severe alternator problems, like weak power output. In some cases, the alternator may cease to function completely. To check if the pulleys are aligned correctly, inspect the area along your alternator's drive belt. The alternator, crankshaft pulley, and water pump pulley should all be in proper alignment; otherwise, make the necessary adjustments.
Replace a dying battery right away.
A dying battery will severely affect the performance of your alternator until it goes out completely. If your battery's on the brink of death, the alternator will have to work at maximum capacity to keep it charged. This massive load and heavy draw will shorten your alternator's life, so better replace a dying battery immediately. Also, test the voltage rating of your battery regularly to ensure it is still in good condition.