Van Parts: How to Change an Alternator – Alternative

If you’re having trouble with your alternator and need to replace it, then here’s our useful guide to completing this task! Of course the first step is to find a quality new or used alternator from your local breakers yard or dealer. Remember to be safety conscious throughout and always protect yourself with the correct safety equipment including safety glasses, gloves and shoes.When you are ready and clothed in the correct equipment, open the bonnet of your car and make sure that you can easily locate the alternator.You will need to check the voltage of the battery so you can do this using a digital multi-meter. If you do not have one of these, you could borrow one. Nearly all garages and tradesmen have one of these. If your battery is dead, it would read less than 9 volts which is not enough to start the vehicle.You need to check and confirm that your alternator is causing the problem so the battery will need to be fully charged. If your battery shows less than 9 volts then a new battery would be required before proceeding, otherwise it will not pass a load test.Ensure the engine is switched off and connect the digital multi-meter to the battery terminals to test it. If it reads between 12 and 13 volts, the battery strength is good.Once you have verified that the battery is good, start your engine and then read the digital multi-meter again. This time it should increase to around 13.5 or 14.5 volts.You’ll need an open end wrench for this next step. Using this tool, disconnect the negative cable from the battery. Once this is complete you’ll need to also disconnect the alternators power and ground wires which will be located at the back of the unit. Ensure you remember where each of the wires came from in order to help you when connecting the new one.The next item to disconnect is the wiring to the harness connector. Next, loosen the bracket bolts on the alternator itself, and the adjusting bolts or belt tensioner in order for you to remove the alternator drive belt.In your tool box, find the correct sized socket and ratchet in order for you to remove the alternator mounting bolts, adjusting bolts, spacer and lower pivot bolt (both if necessary), and the alternator itself.Locate your new alternator and put in place.The next steps are a basic reversal of the steps taken to remove the old alternator. Again, you’ll need the correct sized socket and ratchet for the job. Install the new alternator by tightening the mounting bolts, adjusting bolt, spacer and lower pivot bolt (if necessary).Ensure the alternator belt is in place and installed. If you pull the alternator, the belt will tighten. Pull until tight enough.You’ll need to tighten the alternator mounting bolts but to do so ensure that you gently move the new alternator unit itself to ensure you achieve the correct belt tension.Reconnect the wires and power cables and the wiring to the harness connector.To check the tension of the alternator belt, push down in the middle. If the belt should move more than half an inch you will need to tighten it. Ensure the belt is tightened properly before continuing any further.The battery now needs to be reconnected. First connect the negative cable. Whilst starting the engine, check the voltage of the battery using the digital multi-meter. Ensure that the alternator is charging correctly.Turn the engine back off and double check the tension of the belt. If you need to adjust this then do so.That’s it! Complete and double checked! Happy driving!