Car alternator replacement:

Save money by handling this repair on your own

Car alternator troubleshooting: why you should check and replace your alternator -- and how to do it yourself!

Your car alternator is an electrical generator. Your engine spins the alternator through a system of belts and pulleys. As the alternator spins it makes electricity in the form of alternating current. Over time your alternator parts wear out and make less electricity. Alternators can also malfunction and make too much power.

Too much power can cause your battery to overcharge and fail. The alternator and battery must work together properly so your vehicle can make and store electricity.

Stop into Advance Auto Parts for a free charging system test. We can tell you what's right or wrong with your charging system, and offer some alternator troubleshooting. Plus, we carry the alternator parts you need to complete an alternator replacement, along with a full line of other quality auto parts.

Why you should do a car alternator replacement:

Your alternator provides electricity while the engine is running. Part of the alternator’s job is to recharge the battery. The battery only stores electricity for later use. If your alternator fails, your battery will quickly lose power. After the battery drains not only will your car stop running -- it won’t start!

Don’t get left in the dark. Keep your alternator and charging system in peak condition. Advance Auto Parts will check your charging system at any time for no charge and help with your alternator troubleshooting.

What you will need for a car alternator replacement:

Do-it-yourself difficulty guide for an alternator replacement:

Estimated time required - 2 Hours

How to change your car alternator: do it yourself & save!
Disconnect the negative battery post before starting, and be sure to have the correct alternator parts on hand. A serpentine belt tensioner can cause injury. See how to put on a serpentine belt before starting and consult a repair manual for your vehicle.

  1. A serpentine belt is flat and thin. A V-belt is V shaped. If you have a V-belt, skip to step 4. Replace any belt if worn, frayed, glazed or cracked.
  2. To loosen a serpentine belt, first find the tensioner. The tensioner is spring loaded. It keeps the belt tight.
  3. Loosen the tensioner. Leave room for spring backlash. Be careful not to trap or injure your hand. Loosen and remove the belt.
  4. Remove the wiring harness, connectors or wiring and fasteners from the alternator. Mark multiple wires with tape and labels so you don’t forget where they go.
  5. Loosen and remove the alternator. If you have a V-belt, the alternator must be loosened before removal. The alternator also provides belt tension on the V-belt.
  6. Install the new alternator, making sure that it fits properly and aligns with the existing bolt holes. Reverse the disassembly procedure. Check for correct belt tension.
  7. Reconnect the negative battery terminal. Attach voltmeter to the battery and start the vehicle. Check for proper voltage. Your alternator output should read from 13.1-16.5 volts.

Trust Advance Auto Parts for the high quality auto parts you require for all your vehicle maintenance tasks -- including an alternator replacement.