What Does the GEN Light Mean on My Dashboard

If you drive a classic, it may be equipped with a GEN or ALT light on the dashboard. GEN stands for generator, and this light or the ALT light illuminates when the alternator is going bad. As you have just figured out, ALT stands for alternator, and in newer automobiles, the battery light will turn on if the alternator is malfunctioning. Trinity Auto Care explains that this is just one sign that you need to call our shop for an alternator replacement. Here are other signs.

Frequent Engine Stalling

The spark plugs need power to generate sparks and the alternator provides it. If you have a faulty alternator underneath the hood, your engine may stall frequently because plugs are unable to produce sparks in the combustion chamber.

Grinding Engine Noises

A faulty alternator can also get loud in your engine. You will hear grinding noises coming from the engine if the alternator is wearing out. The sound might also resemble growling. If there’s trouble with the belt, you will hear squealing.

Hard Starts/Dead Battery

Aside from supplying the spark plugs with electricity, the alternator also keeps the battery charged. If your car, truck, or C/SUV is suddenly difficult to start because the battery keeps dying, it’s possible that the alternator has died.

Hot Electrical System

The alternator works tirelessly to produce the voltage your automobile uses in several different locations. The maximum voltage the alternator should produce is 14.5 volts. If it malfunctions and produces excess voltage, your electrical system will overheat.

Malfunctioning Accessories

Speaking of malfunctions, the alternator also supplies your power accessories with voltage. Consequently, a malfunctioning alternator is going cause the accessories to malfunction. One example is your radio turning off by itself.

Strange Light Problems

Finally, you may start to have strange problems with your vehicle’s lights. They may start to flicker if the alternator is unable to supply a steady stream of power, or they may be unbearably bright if the alternator is overloading the electrical system. You may also find it hard to read your dashboard or see at night because the lights are too dim.

Trinity Auto Care in Blaine and White Bear Lake, MN, is here to help, so call the shop closest to you today to schedule a service visit. We will test the alternator and replace it if it is no longer able to produce power. If you drive an automobile that is 10 years old or older, the alternator is likely dying.

Photo by khunkorn from getty images via Canva Pro

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