How to Remove a Car Alternator

What You'll Need
Owner's manual

The car alternator is an integral part of the engine's electrical system. Knowing how to remove a car alternator will help you to be able to replace the part if necessary and help you to save money at the repair shop. You will also be able to know if the repair shop is trying to squeeze you for more money.

Step 1 – Disconnect the Battery

Since you will be working on the electrical system, disconnect the battery to protect yourself from being shocked. To make sure you are in no danger, completely remove the battery from the engine area. Make sure the wires leading to where the battery was are not leaning against the frame of the car as they may have a little bit of juice left in them.

Step 2 – Find Your Alternator

The best way to find your alternator is to consult your owner's manual. When you find the location, consider any other components that will have to be removed in order to get at the alternator. If you are unsure about where to place things when you are done with the job, take a picture of the engine before you disassemble. Retain all parts in separate bunches.

Step 3 – Remove Alternator

Once everything else is out of the way, it should be fairly easy to remove the actual alternator. The alternator is attached to the engine through the use of one main bolt that you must remove. With the bolt gone, rock the alternator away from the belt and lift clean from the car. With the alternator free from the engine, you can disconnect the wires that run back to the battery to charge it.

Step 4 – Replace the Alternator

Whether you are looking to replace the alternator or repair the one you have, an alternator must go back into your car in order for it to operate correctly. Reattach the charging wire. Drop the alternator back into place making sure the belt is securely fastened to the shaft. Reattach the mounting bolt. If you had to remove any other parts in order to get to the alternator, this is a good time to replace them. The last thing to do is to reattach the battery and give the car a test drive in order to make sure the alternator is working correctly. What to look out of is problems with running multiple electrical components at once. This will indicate either the alternator did not get fixed, or you have a different problem.