How to change an alternator

by BB15

Whether you're installing a new beefy stereo system and need a little extra juice, or need to replace a faulty alternator, the steps below will outline how to make the swap quick and easy.

The first thing you need to do is determine that the problem is actually being caused by the alternator, because if you're anything like me, it's always best to do the least amount of work possible. Disconnect the negative battery terminal before doing any electrical work on your vehicle unless you like pissing your pants and have always wanted to try the "Don King" look, but never had the guts.

Once you have determined that the alternator is the likely culprit for your headlights dimming everytime the bass hits while jammin' to Rump Shaker, you will need to locate the alternator in your specific car (under the hood is likely in most cases). Sometimes it will be in plain sight, but there are some vehicles which require some searching. An automotive manual for your car is always handy.

Once you have located your alternator, the first thing you will need to do is remove the serpentine belt from the alternator pully.

Next, disconnect the ground cable, then hot wire from the alternator.

Once all of the wires have been diconnected, there should be two mounting bolts (one on the top and one on the bottom). Loosen and remove these and the alternator should drop right out. It's usually a good idea to take your alternator into your local automotive supply store to have it tested (most will do this for free). This will either give you assurance that you have correctly diagnosed the problem, or crush your spirit because it will be verified that there is a larger issue with your car than you thought.

Tip

  • check If you have no idea what you're doing hire a professional, or invite your mechanic buddy over for a beer and then dupe him into taking a look at it for you.

Warning

  • close Don't wash your hands in the kitchen sink, wives and girlfriends hate that!

Items you will need

About the Author

I'm the type of guy who likes to think he knows more than he does, so this site is a perfect outlet. I have worked in many different fields from making window screens, to operating a brake press, to building airplanes. I have a wife, 2 daughters and 2 cats. My hobbies include: Playing softball Movies Playing Xbox Collecting shoes Trivia