How Do I Diagnose A Volvo Alternator Problem?

Your Volvo’s electrical system comes from 2 distinct places - from the battery and from the alternator. This explains why troubleshooting alternator related problems is hard at times. The thumb rule here is simple. The battery provides electricity so the engine can start. Once this happens, the battery’s work is pretty much done but not complete. The alternator steps in as a generator solely to provide electric power in the right ‘dose’. That is where the circular bundle made of a small magnet and a bundle of copper wires come into the picture. It rotates to generate some electric power. Read on to learn more about Volvo alternators.

Faulty Coil or Spark Plug

If the spark plug or coil happens to be faulty in any way, it can also drain out the power from the vehicle thereby causing it to die. Through the help of the ignition coil, the battery’s low volt is transformed into thousands of voltages of electricity power needed to create an electric spark in the spark plug which then in turn ignites the fuel. Due to heat or vibration, coils can fail. Bad connections can also cause the spark plug to malfunction. Once the coil goes bad, some part of it would often times get burnt and the burning will surely produce an odor, if the hood is not opened immediately, this odor can go unnoticed.  

Bad Starter or Solenoid

Another way to diagnose your alternator problem is checking the starter and the solenoid if they are still in perfect condition. If the vehicle suddenly gets a bright light but then the engine doesn’t start, then the problem isn’t from the battery as the light that shines so bright indicates that the battery still has and supplies enough power to the alternator to get it started. But being that the solenoid is bad, the vehicle won’t start. A better way to decipher if it is actually the solenoid that is faulty is to try starting the vehicle while listening for a clicking sound. If any clicking sound is presented during the process of starting the engine, then it means that the solenoid has failed.

Battery and Alternator

Of what problem is a bad alternator? If the alternator is bad, the vehicle will slowly lose electrical power and if the vehicle was in motion, the lights will get dim, then after a while it will totally knockout and the engine will die out. Immediately the alternator goes out of power even when the battery is still in a perfect condition, all other electrical components required to keep the vehicle on and active will shut down immediately, as the main source of their power supply, the alternator has failed. Before deciding on buying an alternator replacement or a battery, diagnose some of these components and check for some of the signs and symptom. Alternators can be repaired, so buying a replacement when it’s just a coil or certain component that is fixable will be considered as a waste.