How to Determine What Is Causing Your Starting Problem

Not only is it frustrating and inconvenient when your car can't start, but it can be very stressful when you can't figure out what is causing it. Many reasons can explain why your car can't start, and the two of them we will discuss today are a bad battery and a failing alternator. 


First, the battery is liable for delivering voltage to the starter, which cranks up your motor engine. The alternator recharges the battery while your engine runs, allowing your car to function at its total electrical capacity. Below is how to pinpoint whether the battery or alternator is causing your starting issues.


Your vehicle is responsible for providing power to the starter and entire electrical system when your car is not moving. A new car battery has a bandwidth to last three to four years. While it is a major power supplier, the alternator lends it a hand to charge it. With usage over time, the parts on your battery may be susceptible to corrode, reducing its ability to hold a proper charge. Here is how to tell whether your battery is the cause of your car start problems:

  • Low, whining noise upon start
  • Sluggishness
  • Dim vehicle lights and/or dashboard lights when starting vehicle
  • Frequent jump-starts
  • Observable evidence of corrosion on the battery itself


While the alternator is talked about less than the battery, it plays a key role in your vehicle's electrical system by charging the battery. This part can usually last up to 10 years. However, it can malfunction from time to time. Here's how to tell whether your alternator is causing you problems:

  • Dead car battery
  • Screeching or growling noise
  • A burning smell (alternator overheating)
  • Dim or random flickering of headlights or dashboard lights
  • Malfunctioning car electrical accessories (ex. radio, power heating, power windows, etc.)

If you suspect that your car is experiencing problems with either of these two components in Escondido, CA, please have them inspected and repaired as soon as possible to avoid major breakdowns. The electrical experts at Grand Garage can take care of your battery or alternator repairs and get you back on the road in no time. Please give us a call or visit our Escondido auto repair shop today!

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