Smoke Coming From My Cars’ Alternator – Why?

Reader Question Hey Austin,

I have a 1975 Dodge Dart

I was driving home from work one night and smelled what seemed to me like burning plastic.I then started seeing smoke coming from under the hood.I also noticed that my battery guage would drop down once I came to a stop.I pulled over and popped the hood to find smoke coming from the alternator.I thought it was the wires around it,so I pulled them away thinking they were melting.I also found out that the dipstick was missing for the oil pan and the belts looked kind of worn.Could it be oil that spilled into the alternator or the belts simply replaced or both? Or is it something completely different?

Please help,


Hi there Marc


If you have an oil leak like from a valve cover gasket that is leaking oil down on the alternator….that could be your cause. I would have the alternator output checked and check the battery load to make sure your charging system is working properly.

You could have oil that dripped into the alternator, or your alternator might have been over charging your battery (due to a faulty voltage regulator) and burnt it self up working to hard.

If the belt was slipping, you would have heard a loud squealing noise.


Austin C. Davis

Got Something to Say?