Thinking about purchasing a new car? Use our new Car Loan Calculator to estimate your monthly car payment!

How to Change an Alternator on Kia Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

A vehicle's alternator powers all sorts of essential devices like headlights, ignition coils and engine cooling fans. In addition, alternators also power non-essential devices such as the radio and air conditioning. When the alternator fails, the vehicle will not fail right away as the battery will provide power for a short while. Eventually, though, the alternator will need to be replaced. On a Kia car replacing the alternator is a very lengthy process.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change an Alternator on a KIA Optima

Disconnect the battery's positive terminal bolt by turning it counterclockwise. Set it away from the terminal.

Jack up the Optima and remove the front passenger side wheel by turning the lug nuts counterclockwise using the lug wrench. Set the wheel and tire aside.

Remove or fold aside the wheel well cover by turning the small screws counterclockwise and gently pulling it from the retainer clips. This will give access to the engine.

Push on the belt tension pulley until the belt loosens, then pull the belt off of the alternator's pulley wheel. The belt can be left hanging in place.

Turn the alternator's bolts in a counterclockwise direction using the socket wrench. A smaller wrench head may be required for the tight space.

Pull the alternator free by wiggling it out of the mount.

Position the new alternator into the mount and secure the bolts that hold it in place.

Push on the belt tension pulley to give enough slack to wrap the belt around the alternator's pulley wheel.

Restore the wheel well cover by pushing it onto the clips and securing the screws.

Replace the wheel by tightening the lug nuts in a clockwise direction, alternating the pressure of opposing bolts. This sets the wheel better than tightening all of the nuts in a circle.

Lower the Optima onto the ground, and reconnect the battery.

Items you will need

  • Socket set

  • Floor jack

  • Lug wrench

  • Screwdrivers

  • Crowbar

 How to Replace the Alternator in a Kia Spectra

Determine which alternator your Kia Spectra will need. Make sure the new alternator is compatible with your Spectra's engine. All versions of the Kia Spectra have a 2.0 L engine.

Disconnect the negative battery cable, power steering pump and its bracket with a socket wrench. Remove the cover cap for the alternator's B terminal so you can disconnect the electrical connection from the alternator. Loosen the pivot bolt for the alternator and the tensioner mounting bolt with a socket wrench but do not remove them. Relieve the tension on the drive belt by rotating the adjustment bolt counterclockwise.

Take off the tensioner mounting bolt so you can remove the belt tensioner. Disconnect the pivot bolt for the alternator and loosen the bolt for the adjusting bracket. This will allow you to rotate the bracket up and remove the alternator.

Install the new alternator assembly and tighten the pivot bolt by hand. Move the adjusting bracket into position and install the belt tensioner. Tighten its mounting bolt by hand and install the drive belt.

Adjust the tension so that the belt deflection is .22 to .31 inches for a new belt and .33 to .45 inches for a used belt. Use a torque wrench to tighten the tensioner bolt to 14 to 19 foot pounds and the pivot bolt to 28 to 38 foot pounds. Connect the power steering pump and the negative battery cable with a socket wrench.

Items you will need

  • New alternator

  • Socket wrench set

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace an Alternator in a Kia Rio

Remove the air duct from the air cleaner to the throttle body by using a screwdriver to loosen the clamps and pulling the hose off. Loosen the power steering belt by using a socket to turn the tensioner bolt to relieve the tension on the belt. Remove the belt. Remove the power steering pump and bracket using a socket.

Disconnect the negative battery terminal using a wrench. Loosen the two bolts securing the alternator to the block, but do not remove them yet. Loosen the tension on the alternator belt by using a socket and turning the tensioner bolt. Lift the belt off.

Remove the alternator's top bolt, and swing the alternator out toward the fender. Remove the electrical connectors on the back of the alternator. Use a wrench to remove the heavy battery wire and just pull the plastic field plug out of its socket. Remove the remaining bolts in the alternator. Remove the alternator and tensioner.

Bolt up the alternator and tensioner, which share the same bracket. Install the bolts loosely. Install the electrical battery wire and field plug on the back of the alternator. Use a wrench to tighten the battery wire nut.

Tighten the two bolts in the alternator and the bolt in the tensioner using a socket. Install the alternator belt and turn the tensioner bolt with a socket until sufficient tension is applied to the belt.

Install the power steering pump and bracket and tighten the bolts with a socket. Install the power steering belt and rotate the tensioner bolt with a socket until sufficient tension is applied. Install the air duct from the air cleaner to the throttle body and tighten the clamps with the screwdriver. Connect the negative battery terminal and tighten with a wrench.

Items you will need

  • Ratchet

  • Set of sockets

  • Set of wrenches

  • Screwdriver

 How to Replace the Alternator on a 2002 KIA Sedona

Park the Sedona and turn off the engine. Remove the keys from the ignition and open the hood. Put on the gloves.

Remove the terminal connections on the battery. The terminal connections pop right off as you pull on them. Allow 30 minutes to pass for the airbags to automatically disable.

Remove the air filter intake. The air filter intake is the large plastic box above the radiator that is connected to the air filter housing. With the air filter intake removed, you can now remove the support beam above the radiator itself. You will have to use a Phillips screwdriver to remove a total of 10 screws from the support beam.

Place the large pan underneath the vehicle right under the radiator. Unplug the two radiator hoses that are connected to the radiator. This will cause antifreeze to spill out. The large pan should catch all of the antifreeze. If it does not, make sure to clean it up afterward, as it is a very dangerous chemical.

Remove the pipe that the radiator hoses were connected to. Remove both fans that are attached to the radiator by unscrewing the four screws holding each fan in place. This will allow access to the alternator itself.

Remove the serpentine belt by loosening the manual adjustment pulley held in place by two nuts. Use the socket wrench to remove the nuts and then remove the serpentine belt. Remove the support bar that connects the engine block to the alternator. Remove the 2 screws holding the support bar in place to remove it.

Remove the three bolts on the left side of the alternator. Disconnect the wire harness to the alternator by squeezing the tabs and pulling it out. Disconnect the hot connector by pulling it out. Pull the alternator out of the vehicle. Place the new alternator into the vehicle and reconnect the hot connector and wire harness to the alternator.

Reattach the support bar by reinstalling the two screws. Reattach the serpentine belt into the vehicle and tighten the manual adjustment pulley. Reattach the two nuts holding it into place.

Reattach the fans attached to the radiator. Make sure there are four screws for each fan to secure it into place. Reattach the pipe that the radiator hoses were connected to and reconnect the two hoses that were connected to the radiator.

Use all ten screws to reattach the black support beam above the radiator. Place the air filter intake back into the vehicle. Reconnect the terminal connections to the battery and close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Clean gloves

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Large pan

  • Socket wrench

 How to Replace the Alternator on a Kia Sportage

Raise the hood on the Kia Sportage and remove the negative battery cable with a wrench. Locate the alternator either on the lower right or lower left side. Disconnect the main alternator output wire on the back of the alternator by removing the retaining nut. Pull the wire off of the stud. Unplug the alternator control connector. Press down on the snap-lock clip and pull the connector directly out.

Loosen the alternator belt by levering the belt tensioner back and slipping the belt off of the alternator pulley or loosening the upper bracket bolt and lower pivot bolt and pushing the alternator inward. This will loosen the belt for easy removal.

Remove the alternator by unscrewing the upper and lower bolts and pulling the alternator out of its mounting location. Both alternator mounting styles are held in place by only two fasteners.

Install the replacement alternator in its respective location and install the lower mounting bolt. Do not tighten the bolt. Install the upper bolt hand-tight. Install the output wire and plug the control connector into its socket. On the 2.7-liter, tighten the alternator's mounting bolts, lever the belt tensioner back and reinstall the belt. Gently release the belt tensioner against the belt. For the 2.0-liter, reinstall the belt onto the alternator and with a pry bar, pry the alternator back to place tension on the belt. Tighten the upper adjustment bolt followed by the lower bolt.

Reattach the battery cable back onto the negative battery post. Start the Sportage and verify the alternator's output by watching the alternator gauge on the dash. Rev the engine slightly to make sure the reading on the gauge increases. Lower the hood.

Items you will need

  • 3/8-inch socket set

  • Screwdriver set

  • Wrench set

  • Pry-bar

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

More Articles