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How to Replace the Alternator in a Nissan Maxima

by Contributor

The alternator in a Nissan Maxima operates various accessories in the vehicle by transmitting an electrical current while the engine is running. The alternator assembly frequently includes a voltage regulator that maintains a constant voltage level. If your headlights become dimmer while driving or your battery keeps running down, you may need to replace the alternator.

Determine which alternator your Nissan Maxima will need. You'll want to be sure the new alternator is compatible with your Maxima's engine. Models made from 1981 to 1984 have a 2.4 L or 2.8 L diesel engine and 1985 to 1999 models have a 3.0 L engine in several different types and configurations.

Look at more recent versions of the Nissan Maxima. Models made from 2000 to 2003 have options for a 3.0 L or 3.5 L engine and the Nissan Maxima has been equipped with a 3.5 L engine since 2004.

Disconnect the negative battery cable with a socket wrench. Remove the passenger side engine under cover and inspection cover. Disconnect the radiator and drive belt.

Remove the electrical harnesses for the alternator and air conditioner compressor. Take the mounting bolts off of the alternator with a socket wrench and remove the alternator.

Install the new alternator assembly. If you have a 3.5 L engine, tighten the upper mounting bolt to between 12 and 15 foot pounds and the lower bolt to between 32 and 38 foot pounds with a torque wrench. Torque both mounting bolts to 38 foot pounds if you have a 3.0 L engine.

Connect the harnesses for the alternator and air conditioner compressor. Install the drive belt and restore it to its proper tension. Replace the radiator, passenger side engine under cover and inspection cover. Attach the negative battery cable with a socket wrench.

Items you will need

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