How do I repair a car alternator?

I tried to start my car the other day, but nothing happened. I had the battery tested at a local auto parts store, and it had a full charge. The guy at the auto parts store said it was probably my alternator. After looking at repair costs, I decided to do the job myself even though it’s my first time. How do I go about repairing a car alternator?

Answer
Sorry to hear about your alternator! Alternators usually last about seven years, so if your car is a little older, it was probably ready for replacement anyway.
You can’t really repair a faulty alternator, so you’ll need to replace it. The cost of a new alternator ranges from $200 to $1,000 depending on your car model.
Once you purchase the new alternator, follow these steps to remove and replace the old one:
  • Always wear personal protective equipment.
  • Locate your alternator using the owner’s manual or a schematic for your car.
  • Remove any hoses or hardware in front of your alternator.
  • Disconnect the electrical cables going to the alternator.
  • Remove the drive belt.
  • Remove the alternator mounting bolts.
  • Take out the alternator.
  • Inspect your old alternator for any motor oil. If oil is on it, don’t install the new alternator until you diagnose the problem.
  • Put the new alternator in place and go through these steps in reverse order.
After taking the time to replace your alternator, take some time to save on your car insurance with the Jerry app.
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Eric Schad
Answered on Dec 01, 2021
Eric Schad has been a freelance writer for nearly a decade, as well as an SEO specialist and editor for the past five years. Before getting behind the keyboard, he worked in the finance and music industries (the perfect combo). With a wide array of professional and personal experiences, he’s developed a knack for tone and branding across many different verticals. Away from the computer, Schad is a blues guitar shredder, crazed sports fan, and always down for a spontaneous trip anywhere around the globe.
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