Hi my alternator produced this whining sound but its charging at 2,500 rpm with 13.1 volts with Aircon how long will this last before i replace it with a new one? The problem now is am at the trails about 190 miles away from home. Will this make it home?

1 Answer 1


Usually that indicates that a bearing is going bad and the alternator needs to be replaced. It's really impossible to tell how long it will last at this point. The problem is that once it fails it usually will seize and then everything on the belt that runs it will also stop working. That often includes your power steering and water pump.

So if you choose to continue on, be prepared for it to fail.

  • If it fails your generator light will come on @JeromeApostol, that means your battery is now the sole power supply and it is now discharging. Generally that means you have about 15 minutes, so make sure your trip home accounts for that. An alternator can squeak for months before dying, or it can last for hours, there's just no way to know.
    – GdD
    Nov 20, 2020 at 19:43
  • Some good techs will replace bearings and have a good alternator no problem :)
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 20, 2020 at 20:09
  • I have driven about 2 hours with no alternator. And still had enough battery to easily start the car after the new alternator was installed. Nov 20, 2020 at 21:49
  • @blacksmith37 Obviously your water pump was being driven by a different means.
    – jwh20
    Nov 20, 2020 at 22:19
  • For a few seconds I wondered what you were talking about , but realized many today have only seen serpentine belts ( which are good). I give GM some credit , their V8 s had three V belts ; all three ran the water pump , then one for the alternator , one for the steering and one for the AC. So you could loose any 2 belts and go anywhere with the water pump turning. Afriend drove from MN to Chicage , about 8 hours. The ignition coil only draws about one amp. Nov 21, 2020 at 0:18

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