Alternator Installation

Here are a few steps in order to make your installation  successful. Follow them in order. Consult owners manual to see if a computer memory tool is necessary to disable power to vehicle. Some, but not most, vehicles will loose drivability functions or clock/radio station functions.

1. Disconnect your battery cable from the negative battery terminal.

2. The battery needs to be completely charged. Even if you think it is already charged, charge it some anyway.

3. Install alternator and mounting bolts.

4. Install all electrical plugs and bolt on wires.

5. Install belt. Most vehicles have a diagram somewhere under the hood.

6. Turn ignition off, install negative battery terminal. If battery is being completely re-installed, always install negative terminal last.

7. Place voltmeter on battery, it should say over 12.5 but under 13.5VDC. If it reads  higher than 13.5VDC, turn the headlights on for a minute then retest.

8. Start car. Check voltage. It should read 13.2-15VDC. Allow car to idle for 2-3 minutes. Make sure ALL accessories (particularly rear de-fog and AC) are off.

9. Use EXTREME caution for the next step. Turn car off. Remove key from the ignition. Carefully feel temperature of alternator where the stator laminations are exposed. This is the area that is not aluminum, on the side of the alternator, right in the middle. This should not be getting so hot that you can’t hold your hand on it without getting burnt. It will get warm but not so hot you couldn’t leave your hand on it for 5 seconds or so.

10. If it is too hot, the battery needs to be charged more. If it’s just getting warm with no accessories on after 2-3 minutes of idling and the voltage is 14-15VDC… you’re done.


Be Sure to Charge up the Battery First.

“It’s a brand new alternator, let it charge up the battery.” Are the words of a fool.  No alternator should ever be subjected to an installation, without a generous battery charge first. Even if you don’t have a charger, take the battery out, take it to a local part store or repair shop, and have the battery charged for a nominal fee. No matter what it costs, it’s got to be cheaper and a lot easier than installing the alternator again, 2 months down the road. Or in 2 weeks in the middle of the road.