How to Fix a Squeaky Alternator Bearing
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All car owners know how important taking care of your car is.
A car can be quite a sensitive machine, and however robust it may seem, an apparently minor issue can cause a major setback.
That’s why it’s important to regularly have your car checked, but you don’t need to see your mechanic for every single thing.
Some issues you can fix on your own, especially if you have the proper tools.
In this text, we’ll talk about alternators and the issue of the squeaky bearing.
It often happens that whenever your car makes weird sounds something is amiss, and the issue must be addressed as soon as possible.
Let’s see what the fuss is about, shall we?
What is the Alternator?
The alternator is the part of the car that generates electrical current necessary for the car to run, and also for various parts of the car which need electricity to work.
The alternator uses electromagnetism to generate alternating currents, and you can find it at the front of your car engine.
Size-wise, it’s pretty small and lightweight.
Possible Alternator Malfunctions
Since the alternator performs such an important role in the overall wellbeing of your car, having it malfunction could cause you an entire array of problems.
This is why every time you should be concerned every time you hear a strange sound coming from it.
The sooner you diagnose the issue, the quicker you’ll resolve it, because you really don’t want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere with a car that won’t start!
There are three main alternator malfunctions.
Loose alternator bolts can lead to the alternator failure if the alternator is not properly bolted to the engine, and it also makes quite a racket.
Make sure your alternator is securely and tightly bolted, and you’re all set.
The alternator has a belt attached to it which rotates its rotor and thus creates electricity.
If that belt is worn off, the alternator will start producing some rather unpleasant sounds.
Check the state of the belt, and if it is worn off, simply replace it with a new belt, and make sure to properly mount and tighten it.
Finally, we have the squeaky bearings, which is the topic of the text.
The bearings and the belt work as a team, so if one of them malfunctions, the entire set-up malfunctions.
Let’s see just why that happens, and how we can fix it!
Why Are My Alternator Bearings Squeaky?
Alternator bearings enable the rotor to rotate within the stator, and they’re quite susceptible to wearing off.
When the bearings are worn off, they cause the appearance of the high-pitched squeaking.
If you’ve had the chance to hear that sound then you know what I’m talking about, and in case you haven’t – lucky you!
The bearings wear off through work, or in some cases, due to poor manufacturing.
The process of replacing them is really not that complicated, no matter how unskillful you consider yourself to be.
In the next chapter of this text, we’ll go into the process of fixing the squeaky alternator bearings.
How to Check the Alternator State
Before we go into details of fixing your squeaky bearings, know that alternators rarely break, but in cases when they do break, it is likely because of the bearings.
As we mentioned, the belt itself can wear off as well, but bearings are the part of the alternator which is easiest to wear off and cause malfunctions.
The most common reasons for the bearings to deteriorate are either dirt accumulation or an excessive amount of heat.
How do you know the bearings alternator have failed?
Well, if you start your car and hear the tell-tale squeaking, you can rest assured that the bearings failed.
If the squeaking and the grinding are present when you start your car, here are some simple tests you can run just so you can eliminate other possible malfunctions.
There are similarities between alternator bearings failure and other car issues, so better safe than sorry.
Jumpstart your car, then take off the power cables.
If the engine shuts down, you have an alternator problem. If the engine is still running, then the issue lies with your car battery.
How to Fix a Squeaky Alternator Bearing
Fixing the squeaky bearings issue is a relatively simple process. All you have to is follow the instructions below to complete it.
1. Kill the Engine
The first thing you should after you check for potential alternator issues is to turn off your car engine, and then check the state of the bearings.
You do this by hand, which is why it’s crucial not to attempt this while the engine’s running in order to avoid potential injuries.
2. Lose the Belt
Once you switch off the engine, raise the hood. Reach for the alternator belt, and remove it.
This will give you better access to the bearings themselves.
3. Inspect the Bearings
This is when you check the state of the alternator bearings.
You do this by rotating the alternator in one hand while reaching for the bearings with the other.
If the rotation produces the unpleasant sounds of squeaking and grinding, and the bearings feel very rough when you touch them, the issue is identified – worn out bearings feel coarse and rough, while properly functioning bearings are smooth to the touch.
4. Resolve the Issue
This is where it gets tricky. Usually, if the bearings are worn out and need replacement, you have to possible options.
Option 1 consists of replacing the entire alternator.
The other parts of it may work properly, but if the alternator for your car is widely available, it is easier, cheaper, and less time-consuming to simply buy the new one instead of replacing the bearings.
However, if the parts for your car are not that easy to find, replacing the bearings themselves is your best bet.
In this case, it’s easier to find bearings than the whole alternator, but this really depends on the type of your car.
If you’re tech-savvy, good with hands and have the proper tools, all the power to you, but if not, you should probably let a professional take care of this problem for you.
Conclusion: Fixing Squeaky Alternator Bearings
The alternator bearings are the typical example of a tiny detail causing a lot of problems.
They do play a crucial role in generating electricity, or at least they help make the process possible, so maintaining them is crucial for the well-being of your vehicle.
As soon as you hear the squeaking and the grinding noises, open your hood and follow our instructions in order to fix this issue in time.
That way you’ll save yourself a lot of time and money, and you won’t be stranded somewhere with a dead car engine.
Take care of your car, and your car will take care of you!
You might also like: How to Quiet a Noisy Lifter
- Kill the Engine
- Lose the Belt
- Inspect the Bearings
- Resolve the Issue