Is your car having trouble starting or not starting at all? There are many reasons this is happening. It could be that the connection cables have corroded or that the alternator is failing. However, it can also be because the battery is dead or dying, and in fact, this is one of the more common reasons cars don’t start.

That being said, how can you tell if a car isn’t starting because of its battery or alternator? Here are the signs to keep an eye out for.

Signs That Your Battery Is Dying or Dead

There are a handful of signs you can pay attention to that signal the dying process of your car’s battery. For example, if you notice that the car feels sluggish trying to turn on as if it was trying to start on a particularly cold morning, the battery is dying. Of course, it might just be because of the frigid temperatures, but if you notice this to happen even in warmer environments, then it is incredibly likely the battery is dying. Other signs of a dying battery include no interior lights, inconsistent starting, or no sound at all when starting, it could be that the battery is super low or dead. 

To test for sure if the car’s battery is the problem, try and jumpstart the vehicle. If that works, then you can be sure the battery’s the issue. After that, though, you need to figure out why the battery is dying. It could be simply because it is running out of charge, it is because it is reaching the end of its life. A failing alternator can also cause these issues, and for that reason, you also need to check the alternator.

Signs That The Alternator Is Failing

When checking your alternator, there are a bunch of signs to keep an eye out for. Things like suddenly dimming lights or the stereo system not being able to consistently output sound can be a sign that the alternator is failing. Another obvious sign that the alternator has an issue is when your car starts normally but starts to stall immediately when trying to drive away. This happens because, for some reason, the alternator isn’t able to charge the car battery. If you do hear any squealing sounds coming from the engine area, it could be that the alternator’s bearings are damaged.

A good way to test whether the alternator is the problem is to turn on the AM radio on your vehicle if you have one. With it on, turn the AM radio dial down without any music. If you hear the sound go fuzzy when you rev the engine, the alternator is most likely in trouble. Also, check the dashboard. If you see the check engine or battery indicator lit, it could be a possible sign that there’s something wrong with the alternator.


Whether it be the battery or the alternator that’s causing the problem, you must quickly get your vehicle to the mechanic’s shop for repairs. The later you do this, the more headaches you’re going to face, and the higher the chances of damaging your car further or even getting into an accident. That being said, do send your vehicle to a full-service auto repair shop run by professional mechanics. This way, your car’s battery, alternator, and the rest of the vehicle can be checked for potential problems. This allows you to know of any problem that the vehicle has, and have them fixed to ensure you’re enjoying a fantastic driving experience at all times.

Hoover Automotive is a car service and repair shop in Hoover, AL, that offers professional and reliable service and repair jobs to help car owners hit the roads proudly and with peace of mind. If you are looking for auto repair in hoover to repair your battery or alternator-related issue, contact us today!

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