Let’s face it. Having a bad alternator isn’t exactly a good sign for your car. The alternator problems eventually lead to a dead battery, and if not given proper attention.
However, it normally takes about 2 hours to fix or replace an alternator. The exact time for the process can be different depending on your car, truck, or van’s make, model, and sometimes its year.
All You Need To Know About Replacing An Alternator
Our customers often ask us the duration needed to replace the car alternator and if they can do it themselves. If you want to change the alternator on your own, the process can take longer than 2 hours. Moreover, alternator replacement can be costly.
What Is A Car Alternator
Instead of going straight to the duration needed to fix an alternator, let’s see what a car alternator is.
A car alternator is the car component that powers your car’s electrical systems and charges the car battery. It converts the engine’s mechanical energy into electrical energy.
You can understand it this way your car battery will quickly die if there’s no alternator, so you cannot start your car. Moreover, it also has the biggest role in keeping your car components powered, such as the air conditioning system, radio, and headlights.
A bad alternator means you have to get it repaired ASAP to keep your car running.
How Long Does it Usually Take to Repair/Fix an Alternator?
Fixing an alternator can take different times, depending on scores of factors like how serious the issue is, your car’s make and model, and the overall skill and experience of the mechanic who is fixing it.
If we talk about the average time, a mechanic typically replaces a car alternator in 1-2 hours maximum. But the level and complexity of the issue and repair can also affect the time needed.
If your car model has the alternator in a quickly accessible area, like the engine’s top, then the fixing or replacement will be completed quicker than otherwise.
But if your model has the alternator in a not so easy to access area, like below the car engine, the fix can take longer than 2 hours.
The Cost To Replace An Alternator
Alternator cost depends on a car’s model and make, but it usually ranges between $100-$400. The labour cost for changing an alternator can be up to $200. Thus you can safely assume that fixing or replacing an alternator can cost you around $500 to $1000.
Signs of A Bad Alternator that You Can’t Just Ignore
The Dashboard Warning Light Is On
Modern car models have a dashboard warning light that turns on if your car alternator or charging system has any issues. So, you should never ignore it.
Odd Or Grinding Noises
A broken or damaged alternator will make an unusual noise, like squeaking, grinding, or whining, which means the alternator has some problem or its components are damaged.
A Dead Battery
Your car battery continues to die every now and then? Keeps happening even after you got it replaced? Then it’s totally a sign that there is an issue with your alternator.
If your car alternator isn’t giving proper power to your car’s electrical system, the issue could further start causing problems with the power windows, air conditioning, and radio.
Flickering or Dim Lights
A broken or dead alternator makes the interior and headlights turn on, flicker, or dim. If that’s the case, then there might be an issue with your car charging system.
Bad Pulley Or A Sliding Belt
An alternator has a rotor inside it that has the power source of the engine. The motor, when spinning, turns the belt with its rotation. The moving belt, along with alternator rotation, also drives the air conditioning and hydraulic pump.
Alternator pulley or belt problems mean your alternator has a fault. There may be other problems, but usually, it’s the alternator.