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Alternator vs. Battery: What is The Difference?

Having trouble with your car not starting or turning off shortly after you start driving? If your car isn't starting or is sluggish upon startup, this can show potential mechanical problems caused by a dead battery or a failing alternator. Keep reading to learn the difference between the two.

Battery Issues

Your car battery is the primary power source for many of your vehicle's mechanical functions. The car battery is also responsible for starting your car. If your car doesn't start or power on at all, this is the most obvious sign of a battery-related issue. In most cases, your battery will show a deterioration in performance or not starting if you've passed the replacement date noted on the battery. Other indicators of potential battery issues include your car not starting at all, starting slowly, or the visual appearance of corrosion on the battery itself.

Alternator Issues

The alternator powers and charges your car battery as you drive. Alternator issues can look like your car starting and running normally for a short period. When alternator issues are present, your vehicle can gradually lose power and even shut off while driving. If you hear clicking sounds when trying to start your vehicle, this can indicate an alternator that is going bad. Telltale symptom of alternator issues are flickering or gradually dimming lights in your vehicle interior. A bad alternator can also look like low power for power windows and interior accessories not working.

Get Help from The Automotive Repair Experts

Figuring out whether you have a dead battery or a malfunctioning alternator can be stressful but it doesn't have to be. Automotive repair experts are trained to recognize and diagnose issues with car engines, car batteries, alternators, and other important components that keep your vehicle running in tip-top shape. Taking your car in for service with a reliable mechanic is one of the best ways to figure out which issue your car is having. Need battery or alternator repair? We invite you to bring your vehicle to Portland Automotive for service today!