How to Change a Chevy Tahoe Alternator

by Gregory CrewsUpdated June 27, 2023
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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.

Things You will Need:

  • Socket set
  • Socket wrench
  • New alternator

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.

Video below for How to replace a Tahoe Alternator

Helpful comments from the video collected below:

  • Thank you for giving me the confidence in installing my own alternator in my 2003 tahoe.. after I switch the alternator out and got a battery jump it started on up... I definitely saved alot of money....
  • There is an easier way to get those bushings moved using a bolt, nut and socket.Using a 3 inch 5/16'' bolt, slide the head of the bolt toward the back and find a shallow socket that will fit over the outside of the bushing and put a nut on. Tighten the bolt just enough to move those bushings getting in the new alternator.Problem with hammering them out is not being careful breaking those ears off replacing that whole power steering bracket.Make sure the driver's side window is down before disconnecting the battery.I don't trust power door locks, will lock on you reconnecting the battery sometimes

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