“My battery keeps going dead. I had it tested and it is fine–what could be the problem?”
Well, your trouble could be caused by several things. Lets start with a likely suspect: your alternator. The alternator is like a little electrical generator. It is spun by the serpentine belt on your engine and makes electricity. This electricity is used to power the key electrical systems required to run your vehicle. It also powers all of your electronic accessories like your stereo, navigation, heated seats, and air fans, as well as charging all the electronics you have plugged in.
After the alternator has performed all that, any electricity that’s left over is used to charge your battery. You can see where we’re going: if the battery isn’t getting enough electricity to stay charged the issue may have something to do with the alternator.
Now it could be that the alternator is bad–they do wear out over time. There are a number of failure points within the alternator, but in practice, it is less expensive to simply replace the alternator than to take it apart and repair it.
At Douglas Automotive Repair Inc we can test your alternator to see if it needs to be replaced. We find that often the alternator tests out as being OK but for some reason it’s not putting out enough electricity to keep the battery charged. Remember we said that the serpentine belt drives the alternator? Well the trouble can often lie with the serpentine belt system.
The serpentine belt transfers power from the engine to the alternator. When the belt wears away to a certain point, it is no longer able to provide enough grip and the belt can slip on the alternator pulley so that it is not spinning rapid enough to generate all the electricity that your vehicle needs.
A possible related trouble is a worn serpentine belt tensioner pulley. This pulley provides tension on the serpentine belt so that it is tight enough to spin the alternator and other accessories. When the belt is too loose, it can spin on the alternator pulley and, once again, not enough electricity is made.
So, when the battery is going dead–test it. If the battery is still good-test the alternator. If the alternator is still good–test the serpentine belt and belt tensioner. Douglas Automotive Repair Inc can help you get to the root of the problem. Give us a call today!