Q:

What are some tips for changing an alternator?

A:

Quick Answer

Tips for changing an alternator include parking the vehicle in a well-lit and flat area, allowing the engine to cool down, and unplugging the car battery to avoid shock. Read your owner's service manual before starting the installation. You need socket wrenches of various sizes and a replacement alternator to complete the process.

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Full Answer

To replace an alternator, determine the location of the alternator, which is normally a round device that has a fan, untighten the serpentine belt, and pry the belt off the pulley. Replace the belt if it is damaged. You may purchase the belt from your auto supplies store. Disconnect the alternator electrical connections. Use socket wrenches to unfasten bolts that hold the alternator in place, and remove and set aside the alternator.

Install the replacement alternator, tightly fasten the serpentine belt to the pulley, and secure the alternator in its place with a wrench and bolts. Be sure to use vice grips if you are working alone.

Fix the electrical connections, plug in the battery, start the engine, and let the engine run for about 1 minute. Ensure that the dashboard displays no warning lights and there are no unfamiliar sounds. Unplug the car battery, and check if the engine continues to run. Repeat the process, or use another alternator if necessary.

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