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Can a Bad Alternator Cause Engine to Shake or Vibrate?

Alternators are used in order to provide energy to the engine during driving. Well, the battery does that in the first place.

With time, the energy from the battery is drained and requires more power to drive the car or keep the car functioning. Without an alternator, the power supply will not be enough to run a car.

Following below information and tips regarding bad alternators and if it can cause shaking or vibrating of the engine might help you to solve your car problems.

Can a bad alternator cause engine to shake or vibrate?

Absolutely, a bad alternator can cause the engine of the car to shake or vibrate. The alternator supplies power to the car engine. If the alternator goes bad, the engine can fail. Moreover, a bad alternator can lead to misfire which in turn results in the shaking or vibrating of the engine.

The alternator is required for a car to operate smoothly. Well, a battery provides energy in a car.

You cannot charge the battery while driving. But your car needs constant energy to function. And the whole part of the energy is provided by the battery.

As the energy is drained with time from the battery, the alternator helps to recharge the battery.

The alternator recharges the battery while the car is driven. As a result, there is a constant power supply that enables the car engine to function properly and to ensure a smooth ride.

When the alternator goes bad, the engine becomes slow. With time, the engine fails. The alternator is also responsible for creating a spark.

Due to a bad alternator, misfiring occurs. As a result, the engine vibrates or shakes. Moreover, the engine is the most affected due to a bad alternator.

The vibrating of the engine also causes the car to shake. Well, that’s not the only symptom.

As the power supply is reduced with time, the car detects it. As a result, the lights become dim to save energy. A bad alternator can even damage a good battery. Later, you can find your car stopping midway.

In any case, shaking of the car can be caused due to a bad alternator. The only solution to fix the problem is to change the alternator. Sometimes, changing the components of alternators may work.

Reason why bad alternator causes the engine to shake or vibrate

Bad alternators can cause the car to stop. The effects can be detected slowly. Yet most of the symptoms appear in the first place.

This helps to detect the bad alternator problem and fix it. Well, some of the symptoms may also refer to other problems as well.

That’s why checking the alternator is a wise choice. Moreover, the engine can run slowly in most cases when the alternator goes bad. Certain reasons why an alternator causes an engine to shake or vibrate are given below.


The alternator gives charges to the battery which in return powers up the electrical devices and engine.

The engine gets sufficient energy from the battery to work. Moreover, the alternator also creates sparks. Sparks produce energy in order to run the car. If the alternator goes bad, misfiring occurs.

Moreover, as spark will not be able to run the engine properly, often it results in creating vibration in the engine. It refers to the efficiency of the engine being reduced. Shaking also occurs due to the failure in engine components.

If the engine is not getting enough energy to run, the parts can get damaged. Later all this can cause the car to shake.

In the initial point, the misfiring is the main reason why the engine shakes. Well, other plug, wire problems can also create misfiring. That’s why do consult professionals.

What causes the car to shake and vibrate?

Often you might find your car vibrating or shaking while driving or when idle. There are several reasons which cause the car to shake and vibrate.

Apart from that, immediately after changing or replacing parts can also cause the car to shake and vibrate. Because the placements might be wrong or not properly placed.

This indeed requires a fix. Otherwise, it can affect the performance of the car while driving. Bigger problems of the car can lead the car to stop.

Especially results in damaging the engine. Some of the reasons which cause a car to shake or vibrate are listed below to sort out the problem.

  • Imbalance tires.
  • Worn out tires.
  • Damaged wheels.
  • Damage in the engine.
  • Faulty motors.
  • Bad alternator.
  • Worn out wires.
  • The improper placing of components.
  • Loose bearings.
  • Loose-fitting of the timing belt.
  • Worn out spark plugs.
  • Damaged cover of the CV joint.

What problems can a bad alternator cause?

The problems that a bad alternator can cause are similar to the problems created by other parts of the car.

An alternator doesn’t ruin soon and lasts for a long time. Even though you may find similar problems in your car which may refer to a bad alternator, always check the other possible solutions. The alternator is not most likely to go bad.

Without an alternator, the car itself will not be able to run for a long time and often can stop in the midway.

Yet, it doesn’t occur frequently. Replacing the alternator will solve the problems. Several problems that a bad alternator can cause are listed below to identify the problem.

  • Low power in headlights
  • The engine will fail.
  • The components of the engine get damaged.
  • Cause odd noises.
  • Electrical problems.
  • The car will stop operating.
  • The car might not start.
  • Car stopping in the midway.
  • Affect the battery.

Can a bad alternator cause sputter?

Yes, a bad alternator can cause sputter. Creating noises is also a symptom of a bad alternator. Moreover, creating weird noises is a common symptom which refers to the car having internal problems.

Mainly, indicates there is internal friction between the parts of the car or the engine is getting damaged somehow.

A bad alternator is unable to supply enough energy to the engine to perform properly.

Sometimes, it may recharge the battery more which can create burns inside. The movements of the engine are affected by the bad alternator. As a result, sputtering occurs.

Apart from that, misfiring can cause sputtering noise. Well, the noise does not occur immediately after the alternator goes bad.

It will take time. Eventually when the engine starts damaging the noise will occur and increase afterward. As sputtering does not occur in the initial stage, you may get confused with other problems of the car.

How to fix a bad alternator to stop shaking or vibrating?

A bad alternator can cause the engine to vibrate and shake. Moreover, the parts of the engine can get damaged due to the lack of power supply. Also, the car will run slowly and can stop midway.

The only solution to stop the car from shaking or vibrating is to replace the bad alternator.

Well, if the alternator is not completely bad, you can try repairing the alternator or changing the components. You can try it by yourself or take it to a professional. Following the below step would help you to find your route.

Separate the alternator:

You should separate the alternator from the car and see the appearance. The alternator comes with a pulley. Failure of the pulley can cause noise in the engine. You can replace it if it goes bad. Pulling the cap off may help to wipe the dust in it.

Disassemble the alternator:

Next, remove the bolts and disassemble the alternator. You can see the internal environment of the alternator.

Sometimes, the rotor can go bad and not rotate at all. You can disassemble and fix it. You can also fix the assembly by replacing it with a new one. Lastly, connect the components in the order it was before.

You may find broken parts also in the alternator. Like, if you find any break in the assembly, simply pull it out slowly and insert the new assembly.

It is better if you take it to a professional as it is not easy to detect the problem in the alternator. Remember to maintain order and rotation.

Final Thoughts

Overall, shaking or vibrating of the engine can be caused by a bad alternator. Well, other car problems can also result in vibrating the engine, the alternator might not be the reason always. Moreover, you should check and test the alternator. If it goes bad, change the alternator immediately.