So, you may have been wondering – can a bad alternator cause a misfire?
We all know that the alternator is but a simple component, yet it has crucial functions. With this part, you can drive your vehicle faster while making sure that your battery gets the charge it needs.
When you have a faulty alternator, on the other hand, this limits the vehicle’s performance. This is why several problems may come along. But does it really cause a misfire?
Let us investigate this question and find out why this happens – and what you can do about it. Let’s jump right into it.
Can A Bad Alternator Cause A Misfire
The simple answer is yes – when your alternator is damaged, it does lead to a misfire. This component converts chemical energy and turns this into electrical energy. Then, this provides power to several parts of the vehicle. This is why if it is not functioning well, your battery may die quickly.
Now, there are many reasons why your alternator may have some damages. There are also key signs of alternator damage that you need to pay close attention to. By keeping an eye out for these signs, you can prevent further damage to the alternator and eliminate serious concerns about it.
1. Dimming headlights
One of the most common signs that your alternator is about to die is when your headlights are dimming or starting to fade. This means that your alternator is unable to provide ample power to the battery, which is why the headlights fail to have the power they need.
2. Battery icon light is illuminated
Additionally, seeing the battery icon light activated means that your alternator may be faulty. It depends on the model and brand of your vehicle. This is why it is best to check the engine light and make sure it does not stay on. By doing so, you can determine if the alternator is indeed faulty and would need to be repaired or replaced.
3. Electrical problems
Another common sign of an alternator problem is when your electrical components are having some problems. These include your power seats and windows, which may no longer be working properly. But aside from the windows and seats, the internal light and radio may not be functioning normally. Plus, you may even smell something that seems like burnt rubber, which is another sign that you have a faulty alternator.
4. Battery issues
As we have mentioned, your battery relies on the alternator to get the charge it needs. So, if your battery is starting to die or you are having problems with starting your vehicle, then you may have a malfunctioning alternator. The only solution to this problem is to replace the alternator. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting stranded on the road when your battery dies.
5. Strange noises
Do you sometimes hear odd sounds when you drive? If so, you may have an issue with your alternator. This is also the reason why you may hear a misfire. Typically, it is your serpentine belt that may be failing, which is why it is unable to rotate your alternator pulley as it normally would.
How To Check For A Bad Alternator
Now that you know the signs of a faulty alternator, you need to learn how to check for the issues with this key component of your vehicle.
First, you can do this by using a code reader. Then, check if you see a warning light to your serpentine belt. If you have a shiny or burned serpentine belt, it may mean that there is damage to it. Connect the positive terminal of your battery to the positive side of your multimeter. Then, the negative lead is to be hooked up to your negative terminal. It should display 12.6 volts when you set your meter to 20 volts D.
Afterwards, cross-check your voltage when you have turned your engine on. If the multimeter reading is about 14.2 volts, it means that your alternator is good. You can also observe a good function of your window, internal lights and radio if you have no issues with your alternator.
But if you have a damaged alternator, then you will not be able to see the meter showing up over 13 volts. There are also some problems that are linked with alternator damage such as problems with your brush, wirings, and rectifiers. These may have corroded, which can result in failure.
If you have confirmed a damage to your alternator, then it is time to take some action. This is why you should learn how to fix it to prevent the issue from persisting. You can even remake the alternator to eliminate further problems.
1. Detach your battery leads
Start by locating your battery. Then, remove the battery leads to quicker access to your alternator.
2. Undo the serpentine belt and electrical leads
Before taking the electrical leads out, be sure to mark the positions for ease in reattaching them. Take the electrical leads out and remove the serpentine belt. Be sure to check the bolts and amounting as you do this.
3. Take the alternator out
When you have removed your bolts and mountings, you can now get the alternator out. Separate your back plastic cover when you have taken it out.
4. Check the bearings
Inspect the bearings arrangements of your alternator. Replace the bearing if there seems to be no noise as it spins or it appears to be disconnected.
5. Install a rectifier replacement
You need to pull your rectifier leads and separate the mountings. Once you have unmounted it, be sure to detach it. Replace with a new one and be sure to attach your rectifier leads.
6. Change your brush assembly.
Unscrew each of the brushes that meet from their place. Be sure there is no debris and have the back springs of the brush pressed on the brush slot before installing the replacement brush assembly.
7. Take your voltage regulator out and check the flow
Next, you need to remove your voltage regulator and also the screw to your ground lead. Install your voltage regulator and be sure to check the present flow through the diodes with an ohmmeter. Do this prior to reconstructing your alternator. When you see that the flow is equivalent to the average value, it means you have done it properly.
Other Pointers To Take Note Of
You may also need to install a new plastic cover and resistors. Then you can reassemble the parts of your alternator to construct it. Reconnect your electrical leads and put a replacement serpentine belt. You also can change your air cleaner to make sure it is able to prevent your alternator from overheating.
When you have a good alternator working, this can prevent issues such as a misfire. Thus, be sure to perform these tips correctly and have your alternator inspected to avoided further problems on the road.