How to Replace an Alternator in a Car

March 14th, 2022 by

Closeup of replacing a car alternator

CarHop isn’t just a great source for affordable used cars—we’re also here to offer helpful DIY car repair tips, like how to replace a car alternator. Once you’ve tested your alternator and determined that it’s the culprit (rather than a faulty starter), you can reference the video below and follow these simple DIY steps to change your alternator.

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Step by Step: Replacing an Alternator

  1. Save the memory on your vehicle’s preset electronics.
  2. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  3. Loosen the belt tensioner.
  4. Loosen and remove the serpentine belt.
  5. Remove the wiring harness or connectors.
  6. Loosen and remove the alternator.
  7. Install the new alternator, making sure it fits and aligns with the bolt holes.
  8. Put your replacement belt on.
  9. Make sure the tension on the belt is correct.
  10. Reconnect the negative battery cable.

How Long Does it Take to Change an Alternator?

In general, it will take about two hours for you to replace an alternator on your own, though this could vary somewhat depending on your knowledge of car mechanics. If you take your car into a shop in order to have the alternator replaced, timing may vary somewhat, and you may have to leave the car for the day.

What Tools are Needed to Replace an Alternator?

You’ll need a number of different tools in order to install your new alternator, including:

  • New car alternator (of course!)
  • Belt tensioner
  • Basic hand tools
  • Voltmeter
  • Replacement serpentine belt
  • Rags
  • Gloves

How Much Does it Cost to Change an Alternator?

The cost to change an alternator varies depending on your car’s make, model, and year. On average, though, you can expect to spend around $200-500 for a new alternator. However, changing an alternator requires a bit of automotive knowledge. If you decide to take it in to be replaced by a professional technician, expect to pay around $100-200 or so for labor on top of the cost of the materials, for a total of roughly $300-600.

Get More Helpful DIY Car Repair Tips from CarHop

Be sure to turn to CarHop for all the DIY service guides you’re looking for; from how to fix a flat tire to how to change your oil, we have you covered! For more information about our affordable used cars and our convenient Buy Here Pay Here financing, contact us today!

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