How to Replace the Alternator in Cadillac Cars

by Contributing Writer

The Cadillac car requires a large supply of current to run the electrical components of the car, and the alternator is the part which keeps the power flowing and the battery charged. Every time the engine is running, the alternator works like a generator to keep the battery full, and should the alternator fail or wear out over time, you will need to replace it in order to keep your Cadillac car on the road and in working order.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Alternator in a Cadillac Escalade

Determine that the new alternator is compatible with your Escalade's engine. Models built from 1998 to 2000 have a 5.7 L engine, 2002 to 2006 models may have a 5.3 L or 6.0 L engine and models manufactured after 2006 have a 6.2 L engine.

Disconnect the negative battery cable with a socket wrench. Remove the accessory drive belt and engine sight shield to access the alternator. Remove the B+ nut with a socket wrench so that you can disconnect the wiring from the alternator.

Take the two mounting bolts off of the alternator with a socket wrench and remove the alternator assembly.

Install the new alternator assembly and tighten the left mounting bolt to 37 ft. lbs. with a torque wrench. Use a torque wrench to tighten the right bolt to 18 ft. lbs. if you have a 5.7 L engine and 37 ft. lbs. for all other engine sizes. Connect the wiring to the alternator and torque the B+ nut to 71 in. lbs. for a 5.7 L engine and 13 ft. lbs. for all other engines.

Attach the engine sight shield or mounting bracket if you removed it. Connect the accessory drive belt and negative battery cable.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench set

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace an Alternator in a 1999 Cadillac DeVille

Shut off the vehicle and park it on a flat working space. Set the parking brake and open the hood of the Cadillac. Use a wrench to remove the negative battery cable and set it to the side so you do not get shocked while working on the alternator. Locate the serpentine drive belt configuration diagram on the hood of your vehicle or on the radiator shroud and use this as a reference to loosen the serpentine belt prior to removing it from the alternator pulley.

Slot a socket onto the end of the bolt that sticks out of the tensioner pulley. Attach the ratchet and apply pressure in the direction indicated on the serpentine belt diagram chart. Remove the serpentine belt from the tensioner pulley and let the pulley slide back into place slowly. Take the loosened belt and remove it from the pulley on the alternator.

Unbolt the mounting bracket bolts for the alternator with sockets and/or wrenches. Remove the engine splash shield and radiator support access panel if you think it would make removal of the alternator easier (optional step). Remove all wiring to the alternator from other parts of the vehicle and pull the alternator out of the engine.

Reverse the process to install a new alternator. Remove the new alternator from its box and place it in the engine. Rewire the alternator and connect all appropriate connections. Mount the alternator in place and tighten the mounting bolts. Replace the serpentine belt over the alternator pulley and then repeat the process for releasing the tension on the tensioner pulley before sliding the belt into place. Replace the battery lead, remove all of your tools, close the engine and start the Cadillac.

Items you will need

  • Set of wrenches

  • Breaker bar ratchet

  • Set of sockets

 How to Replace an Alternator in a Cadillac Catera

Park the Catera on a paved flat surface. Apply the parking brake and release the hood latch. Using the wrenches, screwdrivers, or ratchet and sockets to your desire (unless otherwise specified) remove the following components. Remove and isolate the negative terminal from the battery post.

Remove the intake air resonator located on the passenger side to gain access to the alternator beneath it.

Loosen the lug nuts on the passenger front tire using the breaker bar and a 1/2-inch drive socket. Lift the passenger side front quarter of the Catera and place a jack stand under the front frame rail just high enough to get the wheel off. Remove the lug nuts and wheel.

Remove the wheel-well bolts and remove the wheel-well insert. By doing this, you'll gain access to assist you in the removal of the alternator. You might find it easier to work from the top of the motor where you'll have more leverage, but if you need to access a certain bolt or find it easier to disconnect some parts from the alternator from down below, this will give you another option.

Place the box end 15-mm wrench onto the tensioner pulley bolt head and turn clockwise. Remove the belt from the water pump pulley, but do not unravel the belt from all of the pulleys.

Remove the coolant heater duct (if applicable) and remove the alternator cooling duct.

Remove the electrical connectors from the alternator. That consists of two plugs and a nut holding the wires to a stud on the alternator. This is where dropping down might be a little easier than trying to reach everything from up above.

Remove the alternator bolts (2) then remove the alternator. This will take some wiggling, wrangling nd manipulating to extract the alternator from the engine compartment and again, you might find it easier to extract from the exposed wheel well area.

Install the new alternator and reverse the process. When it comes time to reattach the belt, again turn the 15-mm wrench clockwise and make sure the belt is lined up properly on the pulleys with all the ribs in the belts where they belong. Any belt rib not on the pulley accurately will make getting it back in place properly impossible. You may have to check down in the wheel-well area to the lower pulleys.

Replace the wheel-well insert and bolts. Replace the wheel and lug nuts and tighten the lug nuts flush to the hub. Lower the Catera and tighten the lug nuts with an adjustable torque wrench set at 100 foot pounds and a 1/2-inch drive socket.

Replace intake air resonator if you haven't yet and lastly replace the negative battery terminal to the battery post. Test start the Catera and make sure everything is working as it should.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stand

  • Wheel chock

  • 1/2-inch drive breaker bar

  • 1/2-inch drive socket set

  • 1/2-inch drive adjustable torque wrench

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet

  • 3/8-inch drive socket set

  • Screwdrivers

  • Metric box end hand wrench set

  • New or re-manufactured alternator

 How to Replace an Alternator on a 1998 Cadillac DeVille

Park your DeVille on flat ground and engage the parking brake. Lift the hood and prop it open. Allow your engine to cool down completely. Disconnect the negative cable from the battery terminal and push it to the side of the battery.

Loosen and remove the two mounting bolts that secure the alternator in position. Rotate the alternator toward the V-belt, or drive belt, creating enough slack to remove it.

Remove the electrical wires from the back of the alternator. Use a pen or a marker to create identification marks to help you connect the wires to the new alternator.

Remove the alternator from the mounting assembly. Compare it to the new alternator to make sure that they are identical. Rotate the new alternator into position on the mount and against the V-belt until there is no obvious slack in the V-belt and the mounting bolts line up with the mounting assembly. Connect the electrical wires to the new alternator following the identification marks from the old one. Tighten the mounting bolts to secure the alternator in place.

Take your DeVille for a test drive of at least 15 miles. Check it a few hours later, and the next day as well, to make sure that the battery is holding a charge.

Items you will need

  • Combination wrenches

  • Socket set

  • Marker or pen

  • Vise grips

  • Large flat-head screwdriver