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Call it Urban Legend, an “old wives’ tale,” or just plain stupid. Have you heard the one about checking the alternator by removing the battery cable while the engine is running? I haven’t heard this one for some time and thought it had finally died, but maybe it pops up when the economy gets tough. Let me set the record straight. The theory is that if the engine dies when you remove the battery cable while it’s running, then the alternator is bad. If the engine continues to run, then the alternator is good. This is totally FALSE. Never let anyone do this to your vehicle. It proves nothing. What it does is create an open circuit that WILL cause extensive damage to your vehicle’s electronics. Let a professional test your alternator if you think it might be bad or going bad. On many of today’s vehicles, there can be up to 3 computers that decide how and when the alternator will charge. Remember, this isn’t your grandfather’s Oldsmobile. This test for an alternator didn’t work then and it doesn’t work today. PASS it on!

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