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How to Replace the Alternator on a Chevrolet Lumina

by Michael Rippetoe; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • 9/16-inch socket

  • Ratchet

  • 9/16-inch wrench

  • Serpentine belt tool

  • Adjustable wrench

There are many things that require a dealer or mechanic to repair on any car. Many things on a Chevrolet Lumina require the dealer or a mechanic to fix, but one thing that can be done by most car owners is changing the alternator. The alternator of the car provides the power for the car while it is running. If the alternator dies, the car will keep running until the battery dies.

Attach the serpentine belt tool to the tensioner of the belt. The tensioner is the pulley located on the front of the engine just below the power steering pump. Use the 3/8-inch square attachment or a regular 3/8-inch ratchet.

Push the tensioner towards the rear of the car to loosen the belt. When loose, remove the belt from the alternator. Do not remove the belt tool from the tensioner. Allow the tensioner to move back forward slowly. Releasing the tensioner will cause it to break.

Loosen the two bolts holding the alternator to the engine. One bolt is located at the back bottom of the alternator. The other is located at the top front of the alternator. Both of these bolts are 9/16-inch bolts and require the adjustable wrench to remove along with the socket and ratchet.

Unplug the black plug from the top back of the alternator. Remove the red wire from the back of the old alternator.

Install the red wire to the back of the new alternator and plug the black wire into the new alternator.

Position the new alternator and reinstall both retaining bolts. Make sure to tighten both bolts.

Push the belt tool back towards the back of the vehicle and loop the belt back around the new alternator. Check the belt to make sure it is properly routed around the rest of the pulleys. Gradually release the tensioner and remove the belt tool or ratchet.

Start the vehicle and make sure the battery light goes out. The car may need a jump start if the battery is dead. The car may have to run for 30 minutes before the battery light goes out.

Tips

The serpentine belt tool can be rented or borrowed from most auto parts stores.

It is a good practice to replace the belt when replacing the alternator.

Warnings

Make sure to look at the belt routing tag under the hood to ensure the belt is routed properly.

About the Author

Michael Rippetoe has been writing for 15 years, and has recently decided to make it his career. He has been a journeyman carpenter, ASE Master Mechanic, certified irrigation professional and currently writes for this site, designs websites, and does professional photography. Rippetoe's articles appear on eHow, Garden Guides, AnswerBag and others.

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