How to Change the Alternator on a Saturnby Chris MooreUpdated June 27, 2023
A bad alternator in your Saturn vehicle can cause major problems. Without the alternator working properly, the car will drain the battery very quickly, so you need to replace it as soon as you know there is a problem. The exact removal procedure can vary depending on the year and model. You are working on something directly connected to the electrical system, so use extreme caution.
Things You'll Need:
- Jack stands
- Lug wrench
- Socket wrench
- Breaker bar
1. Disconnect the negative (black) cable
Disconnect the negative (black) cable from the car battery. Set it away someplace where it can't touch the negative terminal accidentally.
2. Raise the front end of the car
Raise the front end of the car and support it on jack stands, then remove the front wheel on the right side and the splash shield from the fenderwell.
3. Remove the air intake duct
Remove the air intake duct; this is necessary on some models with a four-cylinder engine. Disconnect the electrical connector for the temperature sensor and the PVC hose, then loosen the duct's hose clamp screws.
4. Remove the drivebelt by relieving its tension
Remove the drivebelt by relieving its tension; the tool you need can vary with the model. On most four-cylinder engines, use a breaker bar on the tensioner hole and turn it counterclockwise. On V6 models, use a wrench on the tensioner's center bolt and turn it clockwise; then remove the drivebelt tensioner by removing its two bolts.
5. Pull out the mounting bolts
Pull out the mounting bolts for the alternator and disconnect its electrical connector. On some models, you must pull the alternator away from the engine block after unbolting it to reach the electrical connector. Install the new alternator on the block.
6. Replace all disconnected parts
Replace all disconnected parts in reverse order of removal. Connect the wheel and lower the vehicle if needed.
7. Reconnect the negative battery cable
Reconnect the negative battery cable. The Powertrain Control Module needs to relearn its drivability and performance characteristics. Start the engine, and let it reach normal operating temperature. Drive it at part-throttle and moderate acceleration until normal performance returns; then stop and apply the parking brake, and let the engine idle for two minutes.
Video displaying how to replace an alternator on a 2007 Saturn:
Comments from the video:
- This video right here saved me about $400 in labor fees. I was able to do this all myself because of this video! This is THE video for this job. Thank you!
- Shout out to all the guys that put these videos up youre doing a service to the world
- Thanks dude, great instruction. Wish they'd gotten you the correct replacement, seems to be a common problem.
Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.