How to Change a Chevy Tahoe Alternator

by Gregory Crews

The alternator in the Chevrolet Tahoe is the most essential part of the electrical system. The alternator is responsible for charging the battery. All of the components on the Tahoe use a lot of electrical power, so the alternator is responsible for charging the battery as the engine runs. The alternator also converts the electrical current from the battery to a current that the truck can use. Changing the alternator should only take about twenty minutes.

Removing the Alternator

Open the hood to access the engine compartment. Locate the battery in front of the engine compartment. Disconnect the positive and negative terminal with a 7/16th-inch wrench.

Place the socket wrench on the square notch on the top of the tensioner pulley. The tensioner pulley is located by the water pump. Push the socket wrench counter-clockwise until the tension is relieved on the belt. Take the belt off the alternator pulley.

Unfasten the wiring harness at the back of the alternator. Pull the tab up on the connector and pull it out.

Unbolt the small nut on the ground stud with a socket wrench. Pull any existing wire off the stud.

Unscrew the two bolts on the alternator. They are located to the top and the bottom of the alternator. Take the alternator off the mounting bracket.

Installing the Alternator

Place the alternator on the mounting bracket. Tighten the retaining bolts with a socket wrench.

Plug the wiring harness to the back of the alternator. Push the connector in until it clicks.

Unscrew the small nut on the ground stud with a socket wrench. Place wire on the stud. Tighten the nut back on to the stud. Tighten the nut with a socket wrench.

Push the tensioner pulley down with the socket wrench. Place the belt over the alternator pulley. Release the tensioner pulley--this will tighten the belt. Pull the socket wrench off the pulley.

Connect the battery cables to the battery terminals. Ensure the red cable is attached to the positive terminal and the black cable is attached to the negative terminal. They will be indicated on the battery.


  • Start the truck up and allow it to run for five to ten minutes. This will charge the battery. Turn the truck off for at least an hour to determine if the battery is holding a charge.


  • Use extreme caution when working on the electrical system. Always disconnect the battery before performing maintenance.

Items you will need


About the Author

Gregory Crews has been in the film industry for three years and has appeared in more than 38 major motion pictures and 16 television shows. He also writes detailed automotive tutorials. His expertise in the automotive industry has given him the skills to write detailed technical instructional articles.

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  • dead battery image by Katrina Miller from Fotolia.com