The alternator of your car helps your battery generate electricity, and without it you won’t have enough to run your car. So if you notice signs of your alternator going bad, it’s important to get the problem checked and fixed before you completely lose power.

Because the alternator controls your car’s electric components, they may start to have problems if your alternator is going bad. For example, the headlights may be dim or flickering, and your power windows and locks might not work. These don’t necessarily mean the alternator is going out, but it’s best to have the car inspected just in case.

One of the most obvious signs of a bad alternator is the car stalling or having trouble starting. The alternator is what sends power to the spark plugs, which in turn spark the gasoline in the engine, so a bad alternator might mean weak battery power. You may also find your battery dying.

A failing alternator can cause a lot of problems that might not seem related at first. If you hear odd noises like rattling sounds, it could be because the bad alternator caused engine bearings to fail. If you experience any of these symptoms, see a mechanic as soon as possible.