How to Remove an Alternator From Cars

by Contributing Writer

The alternator in your Mazda car is nested on one side of the engine. If you are doing this for the first time, trying to replace the unit may seem like an impossible task. You can reach the alternator from the top, but you need to remove it from under the engine compartment after taking off some parts. With a few tools and working in an organized manner, you will have replaced the alternator and your Mazda car will be back in the fast lane in no time. This procedure applies to the four-cylinder model.

Under The Hood:

 How to Remove an Alternator From a Kia

Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery of your Kia with an open end wrench before attempting to remove the alternator. Move the cable out of the way and secure it with string or tape so that it does not fall back into contact with the battery.

Remove the metal brackets that are running from the top of the radiator to the engine block with a socket wrench to allow room to remove the alternator.

Follow the serpentine drive belt that winds around the pulleys and locate the tensioner pulley in the front center of the engine.

Loosen the serpentine drive belt by turning the tensioner bolt on the front of the pulley with a socket wrench until the belt is loose enough to be able to clear the alternator pulley.

Unfasten the top mounting bolt of the alternator with a socket wrench until the bolt is completely removed.

Remove the lower mounting bolt at the bottom of the alternator with a socket wrench and pull it all the way out of the sleeve until the alterntor is free of the brackets.

Unplug the electrical wire connections to the alternator by pulling the wire harness plug out of the alternator and then removing the alternator from the Kia engine.

Installing a new or rebuilt alternator requires following these steps in reverse.

Items you will need

  • open-ended wrench set

  • metric socket wrench set

 How to Remove an Alternator From a Lexus

Removing a Lexus Alternator

Disconnect the negative battery lead from the car battery terminal. This will prevent any stray current or grounding of electrical circuitry while servicing the alternator.

Remove the engine cover to access the alternator and accessory drive belt.

Loosen the 14 mm bolt on the accessory drive belt tensioner pulley. Take the free hand and grasp the belt while pulling away from the tensioner pulley. This will release the tensioner pulley and allow the belt to be removed.

Remove the 14 mm stud from the alternator using the 14 mm socket.

Disconnect the electrical plug connected to the alternator by prying the locking tab loose with the regular screwdriver. Pull the plug connector away from the alternator and allow it to swing out of the way.

Remove the 14 mm through bolt from the alternator using the 14 mm wrench or socket. Support the alternator with the free hand until bolt is removed completely.

Slide alternator out of the engine bay.

Items you will need

  • 14 millimeter socket wrench

  • 14 millimeter combination wrench

  • Regular Screw-driver

 How to Remove an Alternator From a Hyundai Sonata

Drive the Sonata up onto the car ramps on a flat level surface. If the alternator is dead, this may not be a viable option, so you would have to lift the front end with a floor jack and place the jack stand under the frame rails. Remember to apply the parking brake and place a wheel chock behind one of the rear tires.

Open the hood. Disconnect and secure the negative battery terminal so it does not come into contact accidentally with the negative post during the repair.

Remove the two radiator mount bolts so that you can move the radiator slightly upward.

Crawl under the Sonata (on a creeper if you have one) and bring your tools. Put on the safety glasses.

Locate the tensioner pulley of the serpentine belt. Place a wrench on the bolt head and turn it counterclockwise to release the tension on the belt. Some tensioner pulleys may have a 3/8 inch inset that you could place a 3/8 inch drive ratchet into and turn counterclockwise to release the belt tension. Remove the belt from the alternator pulley only. You do not have to remove the entire belt.

Unplug and disconnect the wire harness connectors from the alternator using the hand wrenches or the ratchet and a socket.

Remove the alternator bolts. It may be necessary to push the radiator upward to extract the bolts out of the alternator, but you should be able to since you removed the upper radiator mount bolts.

Remove the alternator. To replace the alternator, reverse the order of steps.

Items you will need

  • Car ramps (recommended) or a floor jack and 2 jack stands

  • Ratchet and socket set

  • Wheel chock

  • Safety glasses

  • Hand wrench set box ended and open ended combination

  • Creeper (optional)

 How to Remove an Alternator From a Chevy Venture Van

Removal

Park your Venture and turn off all accessories. Set the parking brake and put the transmission in "Neutral." Turn the ignition switch off and remove the key. Install a memory-saver. Remove the negative battery cable bolt and route the cable aside so it doesn't touch the battery.

Loosen the intake air duct clamps: one at the mass airflow sensor and one at the throttle body. Disconnect the intake air temperature sensor connector. Grasp the IAT sensor, then gently twist and pull it to remove it from the air duct. Disconnect the vent tube from the air duct and disconnect the connector for the mass air flow sensor. Disengage the two air cleaner cover clips, then remove the air duct and air cleaner cover.

Remove the engine mount strut bolts -- one on each strut -- and swing the struts out of the way. Attach the engine tilt strap to the hook on the forward side of the engine, near the passenger-side engine strut, and secure it to the front frame member at the strut mount bracket. Using the tilt strap, ratchet the engine toward the front of the van to rotate it away from the firewall, then tighten the strap to hold it in place.

Remove the generator B+ terminal nut and lead, then disconnect the connector on the backside of the alternator. Find the drive belt tensioner below the alternator pulley. Rotate the tensioner to release tension on the belt and slip the belt off the alternator pulley.

Remove the bolt on the front and two bolts on the rear of the alternator. Remove the alternator from the alternator bracket and set it above the drive axle. Remove the drive belt tensioner bracket bolt and remove the bracket and tensioner as one piece.

Remove three bolts from the alternator brackets -- one on the top and two on the front of the engine. Remove the brackets.

Disengage the power steering lines from the retaining bracket. Don't disconnect the power steering lines from the pump; just remove the lines from the retaining bracket. Remove the Schrader valve cap from the fuel rail. Remove the three power steering pump bolts from the front of the engine. Move the power steering pump to a temporary position in front of the timing chain cover.

Disengage the wiring harness on the right fender well from its retainer and move it aside. Lift the alternator from the engine compartment.

Installation

Set the alternator in the engine compartment in its temporary position above the drive axle. Engage the wiring harness in the retainer on the right fender well.

Install the power steering pump and tighten the bolts to 25 foot-pounds. Install the Schrader valve cap on the fuel rail. Engage the power steering lines in the retaining bracket.

Install the alternator brackets and the drive belt tensioner. Tighten the bolts to 37 foot-pounds. Install the alternator on the brackets and tighten the bolts to 37 foot-pounds. Route the drive belt around all the pulleys except for the alternator pulley. Rotate the belt tensioner and slip the belt on the alternator pulley. Release the belt tensioner.

Connect the electrical connector to the back of the alternator. Install the B+ lead and nut. Tighten the nut to 115 inch-pounds. Release the engine tilt strap and rotate the engine toward the firewall. Swing the engine struts into position. Install the strut bolts and tighten them to 36 foot-pounds.

Install the air duct and air cleaner cover. Engage the cover clips. Connect the MAF sensor connector and connect the vent tube to the air duct. Press the IAT sensor into the air duct until it snaps in place. Connect the IAT sensor connector. Tighten the air duct clamps to 18 inch-pounds.

Install the negative battery terminal bolt and tighten it to 12 foot-pounds. Remove the memory-saver. Test start the engine.

Items you will need

  • Memory-saver

  • Socket set

  • Ratchet

  • Engine tilt strap, tool No. J 41131 or equivalent

  • Torque wrench

 How to Remove an Alternator From a Lexus Es300

Look at the front of your engine and examine the drive belt configuration. Draw a diagram of your alternator and drive belt orientation. Look at the front of the engine and draw the orientation of the belt, and how it is woven through the pulley system with pen and paper. You will need to reinstall the belt in the same orientation.

Release tension on the drive belt. Place a socket wrench over the center pulley on the engine and turn the tensioner counterclockwise. This removes tension on the belt. Then pull the belt off.

Remove the upper and lower alternator mounting bolts.

Unplug the electrical connector on the back of the alternator and pull the alternator off the front of the engine block.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

  • New alternator

  • Torque wrench

 How to Remove an Alternator From an Infiniti I30

Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery of your Infiniti I30 with an open-end wrench and crescent wrench. Move the cable out of the way so that it does not come in contact with any other metal parts.

Slide underneath the car and remove the cover underneath the engine that is covering the alternator with a metric socket wrench. Place the cover out of the way so that you can retrieve it easily.

Disconnect the black and the white electrical wires that are attached to the alternator by using a metric socket wrench to unbolt the wires from the alternator and move the wires off to the side.

Find the belt on the side of the alternator and then locate the tensioner bolt on the pulley. Use a metric socket wrench to loosen the tensioner bolt until the belt is loose and you can remove it from the alternator pulley.

Remove the two bolts that are holding the alternator to the engine with a metric socket wrench until the bolts slide completely out and the alternator comes loose of its bracket. Lift the alternator away from the Infiniti I30 engine and remove.

Items you will need

  • Open-end wrench

  • Crescent wrench

  • Metric socket wrench set

 How to Remove an Alternator on a Range Rover

Park your Range Rover in a safe place, open the hood and disconnect the black, negative battery cable.

Locate the drive-belt tensioner pulley (this pulley does not drive any accessory on the engine but provides tension to the belt). If the pulley has a recessed squared in the middle, use a 1/2-inch drive-breaker bar to pivot the pulley toward the center of the engine, then slide the drive belt from under the pulley. Carefully release the tensioner pulley. On other models, the tensioner pulley comes with adjusting and pivot bolts. Use a wrench or ratchet and socket to loosen the bolts and release the belt tension. Other tensioner pulleys come equipped with a third bolt to prevent the adjusting bolt from sliding and releasing the belt tension. Loosen this bolt if necessary. On other vehicle models without a tensioner pulley, it is necessary to loosen the alternator mounting and adjusting bolts to release the belt tension using a wrench or ratchet and socket.

Slide the drive belt off the alternator pulley, but leave the belt properly mounted on the rest of the accessory pulleys on the engine.

Remove the two alternator mounting bolts using a wrench or ratchet and socket. Move the alternator away from the engine just enough to unplug the alternator electrical connector and wire, then lift the alternator off the engine.

Set the new alternator in place. Plug the alternator electrical connector and install the electrical wire. Install the two mounting bolts and torque them to 18 foot-lbs., using a torque wrench (see Tips for more information).

Slide the drive belt over the alternator pulley. Depending on the belt-tension system on your vehicle, either: (1) slide the belt over the idler pulley after pivoting the pulley with the breaker bar, then carefully release the tensioner; or (2) adjust the pulley locking and adjusting bolts; or (3) push the alternator away from the engine using a pry bar to provide the necessary tension to the drive belt and tighten the alternator-mounting bolts. Double-check to make sure the belt is properly seated over the pulleys ribs.

Connect the black, negative battery cable.

Items you will need

  • Breaker bar with 1/2-inch drive

  • Wrench set

  • Ratchet and socket set

  • Torque wrench

  • Pry bar

 How to Remove an Alternator on a Ford F-150

Open and prop the hood on your Ford F-150. While standing in front of the propped up hood, locate the battery on the front right side of the engine bay and the alternator on the front center part of the engine bay.

Locate the tension pulley below the alternator. Fit the correct-size wrench on the center nut of the tension pulley and push away from the belt. Slip the belt off the alternator's pulley.

Loosen and remove the clamp holding the black cable to the negative post on the battery. Loosen and remove the bolt holding the other end of the black cable to the alternator with the proper-size wrench.

Loosen and remove the bolt holding the red cable to the alternator with the proper-size wrench.

Squeeze the tab on the electrical sensor connected to the top of the alternator and pull it off.

Loosen and remove the two bolts holding the alternator to the F-150 engine frame. Be careful to not let the alternator drop as you remove these bolts, as you might bend a bolt.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

 How to Remove an Alternator from a 1996 Mazda 626

Park your Mazda on level ground. Shift the transmission to Neutral and release the parking brake.

Open the hood and disconnect the negative (black) battery cable with a wrench.

Unfasten and remove the alternator upper mounting bolt with a ratchet and socket.

Loosen the lower alternator through bolt with the ratchet and socket. Push the alternator toward the engine just enough to release the tension on the alternator belt. Remove the belt off the alternator pulley.

Lift the front of your Mazda with a floor jack and secure it on two jack stands.

Crawl under the car and unfasten the six mounting bolts securing the transverse crossmember located in front of the catalytic converter. The converter is the metal, rectangular box connected to the front exhaust pipe that connects to the exhaust manifold. Use the ratchet and socket. Remove the crossmember from the vehicle.

Secure the catalytic converter to any component close to it with flexible wire for support so that you can remove the front exhaust pipe at the converter.

Locate the oxygen sensor mounted on the front exhaust pipe. The sensor is a small cylindrical unit, about the size of a spark plug, with an electrical wire at the end of the unit. Unplug the oxygen sensor electrical connector and remove the sensor using a ratchet and an oxygen sensor socket.

Unfasten the three bolts that secure the front exhaust pipe to the exhaust manifold using the ratchet and socket. Unfasten the two bolts securing the front exhaust pipe to the catalytic converter with the ratchet and socket. Pry the pipe mounting hook off the rubber hanger with a screwdriver and remove the front exhaust pipe from the vehicle.

Reach the alternator from under the vehicle and disconnect the cable and wire from the back of the alternator with the ratchet and socket. Finish removing the lower alternator through bolt as you hold the alternator firmly with one hand. Lower the alternator and remove it from the vehicle. Follow the steps in reverse order to replace the alternator.

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Ratchet

  • Socket

  • Floor jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • Flexible wire

  • Oxygen sensor socket