Alternator Repair (Everything to Know)

It is important to recognize the signs of a faulty alternator and take steps to fix the problem as soon as possible. This can save you time, money, and potentially dangerous situations on the road.

In this blog post, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, and repair options for alternator problems, as well as tips for preventing alternator issues in the first place.

Let’s get started!

What Are the Signs That Indicate You Need an Alternator Repair?

The following are common symptoms of a bad alternator.

  1. Dead battery – If the alternator is not working correctly, it could be prevented from charging the battery and eventually resulting in it failing.
  2. Dim headlights – A malfunctioning alternator can impede the amount of power being supplied to the electrical system, resulting in headlights not shining as brightly as usual.
  3. Strange noises coming from the alternator – An alternator on the brink of malfunctioning may emit strange sounds, including but not limited to shrill squeals or deep grinding noises.
  4. Difficulty starting the car – If the alternator is not operating as intended, it could lead to the battery not having enough energy to get your car going.
  5. Electrical issues – If the alternator is not operating correctly, it can lead to trouble with other electric components in your car like the stereo or electricity-powered windows.
  6. Warning light on the dashboard – In today’s vehicles, a warning illumination on the instrument panel is an alert of a potential fault with the alternator. If this signal light appears, it might be that something is wrong with the alternator system.

If you see these signs, it’s likely that your alternator is damaged and needs to be replaced.

Even if it does not make you stranded on the side of the road today, repairing it now will help prevent a more serious problem from happening in the future.

We recommend that you repair your car immediately if you recognize any of these signs with one of the alternator repair options below!

Alternator Repair Options And What You Should Choose?

The following are some options for Alternator Repair

1. Replace The Old Alternator With An Entirely New One:

Replacing the existing alternator may be a viable solution if it is unusable or worn out. But, when selecting a replacement part, caution should be exercised to ensure you’re getting top-notch quality from a reliable provider; buying an inferior one could end up costing more time and money in the long term.

When installing a new alternator in place of an old one, confirming its compatibility with your vehicle is essential. This can be done by examining the manufacturer’s guidelines or asking for assistance from an auto professional.

To guarantee the successful operation of the fresh alternator, it is essential for a trained mechanic to be responsible for its proper installation. Although replacing the current alternator with a new one requires extra expense and effort, it also offers many advantages such as improved performance.

2. Replacing The Old Alternator With A Used Or Refurbished Model

Replacing the aging alternator with a second-hand or reconditioned model may be an economical alternative to buying one fresh.

Nevertheless, it is vital to verify that the pre-owned or refitted alternator is in great shape and has absolutely been verified before fitting. Ensuring that the used or refurbished alternator is appropriate for your car’s make and model is essential.

The downside of installing a previously-owned or restored alternator might involve taking on the chance of purchasing an inefficient or poorly made unit, as well as spending time and energy to put it in.

3. Refurbishing (Repairing) Your Old Alternator

If your alternator is still serving you well, you might be able to take it to a specialist and get it revitalized. This could include replacing broken pieces or components like bearings or belts that show their age.

However, if the wear and tear is too extensive or the cost of repair would exceed benefits, this may not be an option for you.

Regardless of which repair option you choose, it’s important to consult with a professional mechanic or auto repair shop to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.

In any case, it’s important to get a faulty alternator repaired or replaced as soon as possible to avoid any potential issues with your car’s electrical system.

Also Read: How Much Really Does An Alternator Cost?

DIY Options For An Alternator Repair

alternator repair
Credits: kanemme6 / Shutterstock

While it may be tempting to bring your car to a mechanic for repairs, there are actually several DIY options for alternator repair that you can try.

Doing a DIY alternator repair may involve replacing the belts that usually transmit rotating power to the alternator from the engine. Eventually, such belts can become frayed and worn out which could lead to problems with your car’s alternator. To swap out the belt, you’ll need to identify the belt tensioner and use a socket wrench to detach it.

After that, take away the existing belt and supply it with a fresh one. It’s essential to check that it has been rightly adjusted and secured before booting up your engine.

An alternate solution for a homemade alternator repair is switching out of the bearings. The rotors are equipped with components to guarantee quiet running and lengthy operation. When these bearing becomes deteriorated, it can lead to issues concerning the motor’s functioning.

In order to exchange the bearings, you have to take off the alternator from your car and break it down. Subsequently, just eliminate the existing bearings and put in new ones. It is necessary to be mindful while demolishing it and then putting together again so that you don’t harm it.

In addition to swapping out belts and bearings, you can make other repairs without help from outside sources. Tighten the connectors, exchange the diode or check and apply a new voltage regulator – these activities may be slightly more difficult but with appropriate apparatus and understanding, they are quite possible.

DIY repairs on an alternator can be a cost-effective and time-saving option rather than relying on a mechanic. However, it’s important to make sure you correctly identify what the problem is before starting any repair job so that you don’t end up causing more damage. Keep safety in mind when carrying out these kinds of repairs as well for maximum protection of your vehicle.

Watch this video to properly help you repair your alternator

How Much Does An Alternator Repair Cost?

The cost of replacing your alternator can vary from $300 to $1000 in parts and labor. The car’s make, model, and date of manufacture all come into play when determining the repair price.

If your car model isn’t too recent, you’ll find that repairs to the alternator are easier and less expensive. When it comes to more modern cars, working with the alternator can be quite a bit more expensive because the most recent models usually call for specific tools or knowledge about how to repair or replace them properly.

If you’d like to cut down on the cost of labor, you can carry out the alternator repair yourself using the DIY method mentioned above.

Also Read: What is a Serpentine Belt & When Should You Replace It

Frequently Asked Questions About Alternator Repair

How often should I have my alternator checked and repaired?

It is prudent to inspect your alternator after 30,000 miles of driving or sooner depending on the age and condition of your car. Additionally, it’s recommended to have it checked should you encounter any signs mentioned earlier.

Can I repair the alternator myself?

It’s definitely doable to substitute the alternator yourself if you have a beginner understanding of mechanics and the hardware. But, changing it might be intricate so when you inadequately feel in your expertise, then it is strongly advised that you let a professional mechanic handle it.

How much does it cost to repair or replace an alternator?

The fee for adjusting or substituting an alternator can differ drastically depending on the particular car, as well as how bad the problem is. Generally speaking, you should anticipate shelling out somewhere between $400-$800 to fix it and $700-$1,200 to get a new one.


In conclusion, Keeping your vehicle well-maintained requires periodic alternator repair. Although it may seem intimidating, with the necessary information and tools it can be handled either by a technician or yourself.

It is important to routinely check and take care of your alternator in order for your car to function properly, avoiding any possible issues when driving. If there are signs that suggest malfunctioning, prompt action should be taken to avoid further harm on the roadways.


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