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How Long Does It Take to Change an Alternator

How Long Does It Take to Change an Alternator

We feel glad to get you here!  It takes approximately 1, 2 hours, or a day to change an alternator. An alternator goes terrible for different reasons: quality part, conditions, car system, electronics parts, and battery consumption. You may feel low if a car is driven with a dead alternator. Read below!

How Long Does It Take to Change an Alternator

We won’t go to details. You must know that it takes almost two hours to replace an alternator. If you’re a beginner, it may need more time. The time depends on the experience of car mechanics. In the USA, I consulted my car into a shop and kept it for the whole day. When you go to a shop, you should keep a 1-day budget to get your alternator changed. I hope you get the answer shortly.

What is an alternator?

When going for an alternator replacement, you should know what an alternator is! The alternator plays a vital role in a vehicle’s electric system. The battery and the alternator, both have a deep relationship to keep a car run. A battery works like empowering the vehicle’s start, whereas the alternator maintains the vehicle is running. The alternator is capable of extra power to the engine’s system. Besides, it charges the battery when the engine is running. 

When do you have to replace the battery when replacing the alternator?

When people are most irritated with the vehicle’s alternator, one of our teammates named Paul says he had not faced any problem with the vehicle’s alternator. How many of us are as lucky as him? To be noted that his vehicle is a typical 1999 Toyota Land Cruiser.When do you have to replace the battery when replacing the alternator

You should start changing the vehicle’s alternator depending on a few signs. I’m adding the signs below. Through the signs, you’ll understand how to deal with a battery replacement.

What we found in our research is your vehicle’s headlights go crazy! They start flickering all day and turn dim to bright slightly. 

Most of the cases show that the alternators turn off due to several electronics start-up at once. Another client’s report shows that when your alternator is failing, it includes an electrical burning smell. The smell comes out of the alternator. In some cases, you see a reckless battery consumption for the alternator warning light as the warning light keeps turning on by the dashboard. You must keep checking the batteries if they need to be charged. If you have no idea about changing an alternator, you are recommended to be in the touch of a professional’s hand. Don’t delay the process, or you may get other electric components running intermittently.  

Infographic How long does it take to change an alternator

How to Replace an Alternator?

Once you have several hundred bucks in the budget, you may be thinking of going to the local repair shop, whereas replacing an alternator can be done at home. In a professional’s view, replacing an alternator is one of the simplest repairs with a few tools and 1-hour dough! Before going to details, be equipped with Craftsman Wrenches. No additional tools are required.

Step 1: Disconnect the Battery

First, disconnect the battery. A battery is usually wired on your alternator with several wires. You must disconnect the battery to get rid of quite a shock. The process of disconnecting a battery means it is likely to be grounding the wires through the process. We have several reports of bad things during the process. Be mindful of the bad things that do not occur.

Read Also: 9 Best Battery for Ford F150 in 2020: Reviews With TOP PICK

Step 2: Leave the wires off

Hopefully, you have successfully disconnected the battery. Now, you should unplug the wires from the alternator. You’ll find the wires by the alternator’s side. This is a simple process. It is clever to label the destination like where the wires go back to the alternator. Take them loose!

Step 3: Remove Pulley’s belt

In the whole installing process, we consider this as the hardest part. You should remove Pulley’s belt from the tensioner pulley. If you’re a mechanic, you know it well where a tensioner pulley is situated in your vehicle. All you need to do is moving the tensioner. Thus, the belt comes off the Pulley. We experimented with our 1995 GMC. This GMC has a spring-loaded tensioner. If you have a wrench, pull the belt back of the Pulley. If you use a Craftsman wrench, it would be a pretty good experience.

Step 4: After belt’s separation, remove the bolts

You must have separated the belt off! Now, it is necessary to remove the bolts from the bracket. These bolts are usually connected to the alternator by the bracket. If you run a GMC type vehicle, you find three bolts are connected there. You find one bolt at the front of an alternator. Besides, two bolts are found at the rear. At the same time you will check the belt. For more insights about checking Serpentine Belt, check the article below How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Serpentine Belt

Step 5: Take off the old alternator

After removing the belt and bolts perfectly, you get the old alternator in your hand. Take out the alternator slightly. You’re almost halfway home! Are you ready with a new alternator? Then, go faster for the replacement. Examining the replacement is about to a junkyard.

Step 6: It’s time to install the new alternator

You must follow the removal steps and reverse them gradually for a successful installation. As the belt routing and tensioning are considered to be hard steps, do them carefully. You’ll reach the acme of how long does it take to change an alternator!

Note: The Crossforce wrenches are the main part of the job. Purchasing this wrench won’t charge you a cost like what a shop would charge! Click here to buy it on Amazon.

How long do alternators last?

We face engine troubles, dead battery & alternator problems at least once in our life. If I specify how long alternators last, it depends on some factors. The factors include alternator’s specifications, the consumption rate of the on-board navigation system, power supplies to the battery, and other excessive wear. However, the build quality assures the diodes inside the voltage regulator. Thus, the longevity of an alternator is specified. Generally, Good manufacturers give a 50,000 hours guarantee over the alternators.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does it cost to rebuild an alternator?

Nicholas Frost, one of our young engineers, says that experts from the USA usually charge $400 average price to replace an alternator. The rebuild process is related to a remanufactured alternator. For the domestic or typical car, it costs $350 to $450, including parts and labor. If you own a big budget at hand, go for that premium alternator from $500 to $1,000. 

  • Is it worth rebuilding an alternator?

We don’t think rebuilding an alternator is as worthy as a professional’s cost! You can rearrange the alternator at home. The alternator takes a good time at installation. Don’t fill a car’s alternator with 16 volts capacity, and you ruin the battery completely. You must replace the alternator instead of rebuilding it.

  • What causes an alternator to fail?

Like other automobile parts, alternators get dirty and stressed about heat and cold complications. Afterward, the internal parts lose their appeal and subject to most common failures, such as bearing failure. The needle bearing in an alternative is engineered to spin freely. Because of dirt and heat, the stator breaks down easily. Thus, the alternator turns to failure. 

  • How long can I drive with a bad alternator?

You can go 100 miles or more even with a bad alternator. All your vehicle needs to have is a fully charged battery. The power consumption rate depends on the running headlights or engine’s mileage too. Be noted that, old cars and headlight-on vehicles go 50 miles ahead of a better estimate.

  • Can a bad alternator drain a battery overnight?

It depends on the diode. The alternator usually remains by a good or bad diode. A bad diode of your alternator drains a battery overnight. Why does this happen? Through the bad alternator diode, your engine leads the circuit to charge even after the engine is shut off! A bad alternator is always harmful to a car’s lifespan as the car doesn’t get started because of early battery consumption.


Probably, you get the answer to how long it takes to change an alternator! We have added more common questions from an alternator and written down easy answers. It determines the installation process, time, and accessibility. Be mindful that the alternator replacement depends on the make and model of a vehicle and usually takes about two hours. Don’t pay a lot for an alternator replacement. Try this home! 

Even if you’re a newbie, please keep Craftsman Wrenches by your side. The wrenches help you through the alternator replacement and special order parts.

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