Most Common Loose Alternator Belt Symptoms

An alternator is a mini electric generator driven by an alternator belt or serpentine belt. Its function is to generate alternating current, which some large diodes in the alternator convert into direct current. The vehicle’s battery stores this DC to power up all the components. You should be aware of loose alternator belt symptoms because the electrical energy that runs everything in an automobile comes from this alternator. Any problem with it could affect the engine performance or worse, a dead battery.

Most Common Loose Alternator Belt Symptoms

Located on the front side of the engine, an alternator has a belt that rotates when the electrical charge is transmitting to the battery. There is one or multiple pulleys connected to the alternator and the belt keeps them wrapped around.

This belt wears out over time, making it getting loose to the point of coming out of the pulley. Once that happens, there will be several warning signs. Never ignore if you notice these loose alternator belt symptoms because not taking action may lead to the shutdown of the vehicle.

1# Squealing Noises

A squealing noise for a few seconds when starting the engine is a surefire way of telling that the alternator belt is slipping. When you kick off the engine, the alternator has to work harder than other occasions to restore the battery charge.

During this surging demand for energy, it becomes harder for the belt to spin. It doesn’t become a problem when the alternator is working fine, but a slipping belt will be noisier. A slipping belt’s condition will go only downhill, leading to a breakdown or a car that does not start at all.


2# Battery Warning Light

A loose alternator belt means that the battery does not get adequate power. So, it makes sense that the battery warning light will come on when it does not get enough electrical energy from the alternator.

Remember that this warning light does not exclusively indicate a battery problem, but an issue that affects the battery.

3# Blinking Lights

Blinking headlights or dimming cabin lights when the car is running indicate an alternator or battery issue. A slipping alternator belt will cause the problem to persist before the lights go out completely.

4# Dead Battery

Battery issues are some of the most common loose alternator belt symptoms since a slipping belt means curtailed or no power to the battery. When this happens, the battery will use its reserved electrical charge to power up all the components in the vehicle. The power will be consumed in a few minutes, and it will be dead.

loose alternator belt symptoms
A dead battery is another symptoms. (Photo Source: yelp)

5# Stalled Vehicle

The next step to a dead battery is a dead car. When there is no power supply, the engine collapses, stopping your car immediately. You definitely don’t want this to happen because it’ll be dangerous on a busy road. So, take action when you face other slipping belt symptoms.