How to Identify an Alternator by Number

by Neal Litherland

The alternator provides power to your vehicle when the engine is running and it recharges your car's battery. Without the alternator you'd quickly burn through the charge in your system, which is why when the part stops working you may not be able to start your car at all. If you need a replacement alternator, check the number written on the part so you can find the proper replacement with the same number.


Look up the alternator in your vehicle owner's guide. The information should be included under the parts and references section. If you don't have a guide, or your guide doesn't list this information, check the alternator itself.


Open the hood and locate the alternator. It will be on the engine, connected to the fan belt. The alternator will have side vents through which you can see copper wiring.


Look for the number on the alternator. If you can't see the entire number, remove the adjustable bracket with a wrench. Take off the alternator and find the part number on it. Once you have the number, you have the identification of your alternator.


Use the part number to find a replacement online or at a physical auto parts store. If you're at a store, give the number to a customer service representative. The same number will be on the new part.

About the Author

Neal Litherland is an author, blogger and occasional ghostwriter. His experience includes comics, role playing games and a variety of other projects as well. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Indiana University, and resides in Northwest Indiana.

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