Why Does My Car’s Engine Smell Like Burning Wires?

Your car’s engine might smell like burning wires because the alternator is producing too much electricity. CAR FIX advises that when an alternator starts to go bad, it might try too hard to produce voltage. Unfortunately, instead of producing the right amount of voltage it just overloads the electrical system and you smell burning wires and wire insulation as a result. This is just one sign that your car’s alternator is going bad. Here are other signs.

Flickering/Dim Lights

If the alternator can no longer power the lights, you will end up with flickering and dim lights. If the alternator is producing excess voltage, your lights may be abnormally bright. Either way, this is an indication there’s a problem with the alternator or battery.

Frequent Engine Stalling

The alternator also provides power so the spark plugs can generate sparks. If the alternator is dying, your engine might stall frequently because the plugs are misfiring or not firing at all. The spark plugs need the power to fire up the air and fuel in the cylinders.

Growling or Whining Sounds

Growling or grinding sounds coming from the engine could be a sign that the alternator has worn out on the inside. This sound should not be ignored because the alternator will damage itself as it continues to operate. The alternator belt will make whining sounds if it is too loose.

Hard Starts/Dead Battery

Getting your car, truck, or C/SUV started with a bad alternator can be very difficult because the battery will be dying. The alternator is the electrical system part that keeps the battery charged. If the battery discharges without being recharged, it will die eventually.

Malfunctioning Accessories

Your vehicle’s accessories might also malfunction if the alternator cannot power them effectively. This includes power accessories, such as your seats and windows, as well as your radio, navigation system, and device charging ports.

Dashboard Warning Light

Finally, your faulty alternator might cause the engine control module to turn on a dashboard warning light. The light will either be in the shape of a battery or say ALT or GEN. This is an indication that you’ve got an electrical problem that needs immediate attention.

CAR FIX is the best auto service shop in Tennessee. We have multiple locations to serve you so call the shop closest to you today. You will find us in Oak Ridge, Maryville, Cookeville, and Crossville. We can replace your alternator if it is going bad.

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