How to Recognize the Signs of Alternator Failure in Your Audi
The signs of car trouble vary, but typically we first experience a felt sense that something just doesn’t seem quite right with our car’s performance—even if we can’t quite put our finger on it. Unfortunately, all vehicles experience car trouble, even the most well made cars in the world. If you drive an Audi, then you likely appreciate how optimally your car performs on a regular basis. When you begin to notice signs of malfunction or failing parts, it can be quite concerning and overall disappointing. The first step toward getting your Audi back to normal is to be able to recognize the typical signs that something’s “not quite right.”
One issue that is common amongst Audi drivers, as well as most of the general population of drivers, is alternator problems. We’ll go over what an alternator does for your Audi’s performance, as well as how you might be able to recognize symptoms of failure, potential causes of failure, and what you can do to remedy the issue.
What is the main function of the alternator in your car?
Most people believe that their car battery is what ultimately provides electric power to their vehicles, and they’re correct; however, without an alternator the battery cannot function or recharge. Every time you drive your car, the alternator is responsible for recharging your car battery and restoring it to its optimal level of power. Of course, over time both the alternator and battery can begin to wear out or malfunction. This is especially true in vehicles that have higher mileage on them. If your Audi is older, it’s a good idea to have your Audi specialist inspect the alternator on a routine basis. Following your routine schedule of maintenance designated by your Audi manufacturer (found in your owner’s manual) can help keep your alternator in good condition.
Some of the common signs and symptoms of failure
The most recognizable signs of alternator failure can be seen in the electrical components of the vehicle. You might notice the headlights or other electrical components becoming dimmer over time, or even begin to flicker on and off spontaneously. You may also experience loss of power or stalling, and in the worst cases your Audi might not even be able to start. The symptoms of alternator failure are pretty unavoidable, and it’s important to follow through on having the alternator checked out once you notice these warning signs—otherwise you might wind up with a dead car in your driveway when you’re trying to get to work on time. The old “my car won’t start” excuse is only valid so many times.
Why your alternator might not be working properly
There are various reasons why your Audi’s alternator might be failing. If the car is older, you might anticipate that the parts have become worn-out over time and are simply due for servicing. Since many parts of your car are connected to the vehicle’s computer, the issue could be related to a computer malfunction. The problem could also be due to an electrical issue, such as a blown fuse or failing wiring.
How a differential diagnosis can help you save money
It’s common for people to mistake alternator failure for battery failure. If your automotive specialist doesn’t do their due diligence and conduct a differential diagnosis to determine the source of the problem, they might simply replace the battery once they realize the car won’t start. You will have paid for a replacement battery for nothing, only to find that your car still won’t work properly. This is a common mode of operation for many automotive shops lacking integrity and honesty. Don’t allow yourself to fall into this trap—hire an Audi specialist and insist that they conduct a thorough differential diagnosis to rule out other potential causes of the symptoms.
How Cerrone’s European can help
The Audi specialists here at Cerrone’s European have helped a wide range of clients in Redwood City, CA, in dealing with alternator issues in their Audi vehicles. As mentioned previously, it’s not uncommon for auto shops to take advantage of customers’ limited automotive knowledge; it is our mission to convey our integrity and honesty to our clients, and help them feel comfortable trusting their cars in our care. Diagnosing alternator issues in Audi vehicles is a task our technicians are familiar with and skilled to handle. Please call us directly to schedule a service or inspection appointment for your Audi.
* Audi at Service Center image credit goes to: tomeng.