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Can a Bad Alternator Cause Engine to Shake?


Car requires a series of maintenance to sustain its performance over time. A problem with the alternator can cause several issues to the function of the vehicle. Several signs may also show up if this car part is failing. Other drivers often ask, “can a bad alternator cause the engine to shake?”

One of the symptoms of a bad alternator is the shaking of the engine. If it happens to your car when you start it, start checking other symptoms. Ensure to replace the faulty alternator immediately as it can cause severe problems to your car.

A bad alternator can affect the inner car parts. Its main purpose is to consistently provide battery charging and without it, your car may shut down without notice. Keep reading as we will discuss a bad alternator.

What Symptoms Does a Bad Alternator Cause?

A bad alternator is caused by several factors. These parts in the car have a huge impact on the operation and starting up. Here are the following symptoms:

Old Alternator of Car
  • The battery is empty or dead.
  • The lights are too bright or dimmed
  • It is difficult to start or stall the engine
  • Car accessories are at fault
  • Wire and rubbers are burning out
  • You can see a battery warning on the dashboard
  • There’s a knocking noise

Will a Bad Alternator Make a Car Run Rough?

You will know that your car possesses a bad alternator due to the symptoms. Although there are instances where you can still start the engine, you shouldn’t run it.

Driving with a faulty alternator may result in danger. It may show defective acceleration, rough idling, and more. Once you experience these, you should find ways to fix them with a professional.

Keep in mind that a bad alternator can cause risk on the road. Since this helps in keeping the battery charged while driving, there are possibilities that it might misfire.

Could a Bad Alternator Cause a Rough Idle?

Generally, yes, bad alternators cause a rough idle in the car. Rough idle occurs when the car’s Revolution Per Minute (RPM) is jumping up and down.

RPM indicates how fast or smooth is the car’s performance at a certain period. If the car has a problem with the engine, you will know by monitoring the RPM.

Faults in the electrical wires of the car result in a poor engine. These parts are common parts of the alternator that have issues or are starting to fail.

Can a Bad Alternator Cause Engine Problems?

A faulty alternator is equivalent to a bad engine too. The alternator’s job is to keep the battery charged. If it fails to carry out the charging, the engine may not work properly.


Once the car’s battery is not completely charged, it’ll affect the fuel injectors. This internal part of the car sprays fuel to the engine.

The problem of a bad alternator has a domino effect on the rest of the car parts. Car owners need to monitor the performance of their cars to prevent the underlying issues from being severe.

You must conduct maintenance or periodical check-ups with a car expert. In this way, any small complication can be solved immediately.

What Happens When an Alternator Goes Bad While Driving?

If your car’s alternator does not work properly, your battery is not charged or it is empty. It means that you can’t start your car.

Take note that an alternator helps in prolonging the life of the car battery while driving. If it starts to act out, it will not charge the battery which results in an inactive engine.

The inconsistent charging may also affect the life of the battery. It shows that the alternator is substantial in the operation of the car.

Can a Bad Alternator Cause a Knock?

Knocking and flapping sounds when starting a car is most likely caused by a bad alternator. Although several potentials cause this sound, a failing alternator is one of the major reasons.

A knock is also caused by carbon buildups, overheated engines, vacuum leaks, spark plugs, and more. If you notice weird noises when you start your car, you must ask the help of an expert immediately.

What Are the Symptoms When an Alternator Has a Problem?

You may notice several symptoms showing a sign of a bad alternator. The main indication you should watch out for is the dimming and flickering headlights.

Try to monitor the lights of your car if the RPM is starting to increase. If you notice the instability of the lights, the alternator most probably fails to contribute sufficient electric necessity.

Can I Drive My Car if My Alternator Is Going Out?

You can still drive your car even if the alternator is failing. As soon as possible, you should proceed to a service station to solve the issue.


Automotive experts may require you to replace the alternator. Make sure to change it immediately and avoid forcing you to use your car once the symptoms are showing.

Cars with fault alternators can withstand short-distance travel. The problems may also worsen if you keep driving your car even if it has internal issues.

Can a Bad Alternator Cause Power Loss?

A bad alternator can result in the power loss of the car. Without its presence, all of the parts of the car will not work.

The failing alternator may not automatically shut down the car. It will slowly lose the power from its engine due to the dimming of the headlights.

It’s dangerous if you keep driving your car with an alternator issue. You may get into an accident on the road as it will suddenly switch off your car.


Alternators are important in the car function. If it starts to show problems, you must find an immediate solution like replacing it with a new one. Avoid prolonging this issue as it influences the performance of the other car parts. Your battery is also affected by the alternator and it can completely damage it if you ignore it.

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