When you turn the key and hear a sad sound or a click, you might have a bad alternator or battery. If you take your vehicle to Bock Auto in Hamptons, NY, they will figure it out for you.
However, if you need to figure it out yourself, you’ll need a voltmeter or multimeter and a helper. Once you figure it out, our auto repair in Hamptons, NY can replace the alternator or battery.
About the Battery and Alternator
The battery holds a charge at about 12.5 volts with the vehicle off. The alternator charges the battery.
When the vehicle is running, battery voltage should read from 14.5 volts to 15 volts. If the voltage is higher than 15 volts, the alternator is overcharging and needs to be replaced.
The battery supplies amperage and voltage to the electronics in the vehicle, including the starter, lights, computers, and other electronics.
Older cars would run without the battery once they started. Some newer cars require a charged battery to run.
Determine Whether the Battery or Alternator is Bad
In most cases, it is the alternator or battery. But in some cases, it’s both. If the alternator hasn’t been fully charging for some time, there is a possibility that it killed the battery, and both need to be replaced.
To determine which one is giving you trouble:
- Charge the battery. It must have a full charge to determine where the problem lies.
- Once the battery has a full charge, hook the leads of a voltmeter or multimeter to the appropriate battery terminals.
- Have someone start the vehicle. If the voltage drops below 10.5 volts while the vehicle turns over, the battery is bad. The cells are not providing the proper amperage to start the vehicle. The alternator will not be able to charge the battery fast enough.
- If the voltage hits 10.5 or a little higher and then recovers, have the helper turn the lights on. The voltage should drop just a little, then come back up. If the voltage drops below 13.5 when you turn on the lights and other electrical accessories, the alternator is not charging. If the voltage recovers but does not reach 14 volts, the alternator is charging, but not well.
If you get your vehicle started but know the alternator is bad, you should tow the vehicle. Driving it with a low battery could damage the computers that run the vehicle.
Contact Bock Auto in Hamptons, NY
When you need European auto repair for your BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar, Porsche, Land Rover, or another European-made vehicle, you want a technician that you can trust. One that has extensive experience in repairing and maintaining these vehicles.
Bock Auto is a family-run shop with extensive European auto repair experience. The family has been in the area for over 13 generations.
If you have problems with your vehicle, contact Bock Auto for an appointment or instruct the tow truck to drop your vehicle off with us. You can call us when the tow truck is on the way.