How to Take off the Alternator

The alternator is a generator on the car that produces the electricity needed for the car and for the recharging of the battery. In this guide you will learn how to take off the alternator and how to solve car alternator problems. The brilliant construction of it assures durability, stable output and long service intervals. But when the time comes for maintenance, the first you have to do is take the alternator off the engine. The parts of the alternator, how it works and the proper maintenance procedures are explained in other tutorials. In this one, we'll pay attention only to the removing part.

The tools you'll need are:

  1. set of wrenches that match the job
  2.  multipurpose screw driver
  3.  hammer with a rubber head (we advise this if the bolts are corroded)

Removing Alternator Procedure

Locating the alternator on the engine won't be a problem. You'll recognize it by the wires that come out of it and by the small fan it has behind the pulley. Once you've located it, proceed with the removing :

  1. The engine should be cold. You don't want to risk any burns.
  2. Take the "-" cable of the battery terminal and set it aside to a safe distance, You wouldn't want the cable to accidentally touch the terminal while removing the alternator.
  3. Loosen the serpentine belt tension-er and take the belt off the alternator pully.
  4. Remove the wiring on the alternator. If there is a plug, simply pull it out. If the connections are with nuts, remove them with the proper wrench. Remember where the cables go or write it on a peace of paper. (there will usually be two main cables : "B+" that comes from the battery (thicker one) and "D+" that induces the magnetic field in the alternator (thinner one). In any case, remember where which one was, mixing them up can cause damage to the alternator. IMPORTANT: don't apply strong pressure when doing this. Your risking breaking of the connection-screws thus producing major damage.
  5. The alternator is usually held in two points. The upper on that will have the smaller screw and the lower one that has a longer bolt-screw. First remove the upper one.
    Alternator on the engine
  6. Remove the lower bolt screw. This will usually go a bit harder, so use the rubber head hammer to help the bolt out. In the same time wiggle the alternator a bit, that will also help the bolt coming out.
  7. Make sure that you have a firm grip of the alternator. You don't want it to fall and cause damage on the engine or on the alternator itself.
  8. Slowly take the alternator out watching that you don't hook up to anything.
With today's compact engine space, taking off the alternator can be a challenging task. On some models (Europeans are specialists for this), reaching the alternator is impossible without disassembling other parts of the engine. If you run into situations like these, it's best to let a qualified mechanic do the job. Otherwise, you'll have to take down parts of the engine which you may not know how to return back.