How Long Can a Car Run With a Bad Alternator

Last Updated on March 30, 2023 by Ryan

A car can run for a short period of time with a bad alternator but it is not recommended. The alternator in the vehicle works to keep the battery charged and provide power to components like lights, radio and computer systems. Without a working alternator, these components will eventually stop functioning as the battery loses its charge over time.

It’s possible that you could drive your vehicle for several miles before it stalls out completely, however driving without an operable alternator may damage other parts of your vehicle such as the starter or cause further issues with existing electrical problems. If you suspect that your car has a bad alternator, have it inspected and replaced as soon as possible.

A bad alternator can cause all sorts of problems for your car, including stalling and a dead battery. To prevent further damage to the engine, it’s important to repair or replace the alternator as soon as possible. If left unchecked, however, how long a car can run with a bad alternator depends on many factors like how old the battery is and whether any other components are damaged or faulty.

In general, you should expect your car to begin exhibiting signs of trouble within a few days of the alternator going bad and you may only be able to drive it short distances after that until repairs are made.

Can a Car Run With a Bad Alternator + Risks of Driving With a Bad Alternator

Temporary Fix for Bad Alternator

If your alternator is not functioning properly, there are a few methods you can use to get it running in the short-term. One of the most popular temporary fixes involves jumpstarting or boosting your vehicle’s battery and then charging it with an external source like a portable generator. Additionally, some mechanics will suggest replacing any bad fuses or wiring related to the alternator for a quick repair solution that may last for several months before needing more permanent repairs.

Can You Jumpstart a Car With a Bad Alternator

Jumpstarting a car with a bad alternator can be dangerous and should not be attempted. While jumpstarting your vehicle may provide the battery with enough power to get it started, it won’t solve the underlying problem of the faulty alternator. If you attempt to jumpstart a car with a bad alternator, you run the risk of damaging other components in your electrical system, such as spark plugs or fuses.

It’s best to have an experienced mechanic diagnose and repair any problems with your alternator before attempting to start your car again.

What Happens When an Alternator Goes Out While Driving

When an alternator goes out while driving, the vehicle will no longer be able to generate power and the battery will slowly start to lose its charge. This means that a driver may experience dimming headlights or other electrical components such as their radio or air conditioning not working properly. If this happens, it is important to pull over immediately and get the car checked by a qualified mechanic who can replace the faulty part.

Will a Car Start With a Bad Alternator

A car will not start if it has a bad alternator since the alternator is responsible for supplying power to the battery and other electrical components. Without a functioning alternator, your vehicle won’t have enough energy to turn on and run properly. If you are having trouble starting your car, it may be because of a faulty alternator or another issue with your vehicle’s electrical system.

How Long Can a Car Run With a Bad Alternator


Can a Car Still Run With a Bad Alternator?

Yes, a car can still run with a bad alternator, but it will be limited in its performance. Without the alternator providing power to your vehicle’s electrical system, the battery will slowly drain of power and eventually die completely. This means that without an alternator, you won’t have any lights or be able to use any of the electric components such as air conditioning or radio.

You also won’t have enough energy left over for other necessary functions like steering and braking (all of which rely on electricity). It is highly recommended to replace your alternator immediately if it fails in order to maintain optimal performance from your car.

Can I Drive 20 Miles With a Bad Alternator?

No, it would not be safe to drive 20 miles with a bad alternator. Alternators are responsible for providing power to the vehicle’s electrical system, and when they fail or become damaged, the car will lose its ability to start or run properly. Without proper current being supplied by the alternator, you may experience problems such as dim headlights, dead batteries, engine stalls and an inability to keep up with speed while driving.

As a result of these issues, it is not recommended that you attempt to drive more than a few miles with a faulty alternator since doing so can put both your safety and the safety of others at risk.


In conclusion, it is clear that a car can run for some time with a bad alternator. However, it is important to note that the battery will not be able to provide power for too long and you should have your vehicle serviced as soon as possible before any further damage occurs. By taking preventative measures and having regular maintenance checks on your vehicle, you can help ensure that your car runs smoothly without any issues related to its alternator.


Leave a Comment