How long does an alternator take to fix at a shop?
Replacing an alternator will take a professional about two hours. However, that doesn't mean your car will only be at the shop for two hours—there may be a wait before a mechanic can address your ride. Plus, if the shop needs to get parts delivered, it will take even longer.
It usually takes two to three hours to replace an alternator. Depending on the mechanic's hourly fee, that's about $200 in labor costs. If you use OEM parts, you can expect to pay between $200 and $350 for a new alternator. If you don't mind using aftermarket parts, you could pay between $100 to $200 for a new part.
Replacing an alternator can cost you several hundred bucks at the local repair shop, but it's one of the simplest repairs you can do at home. With a few tools and about an hour you can swap it out yourself -- and keep your dough in your pocket where it belongs.
Alternator issues won't go away on their own. They'll need to get fixed eventually, and if you wait too long, the issues might become more serious, leading to more expensive repairs and higher bills for you to pay. If you get the issue fixed early on, the repair will usually be much simpler and cheaper.
Since the alternator is a vital part of the battery's power system, you're going to need a repair as soon as possible. You can usually drive 25 to 30 minutes as long as your vehicle's battery is fully charged.
But how long can you drive with a broken alternator? We have researched this question and this is what we found. You should only drive 25 miles or around 30 minutes with a bad alternator if you have a fully charged and properly working battery. If your battery is low, you may need to be towed.
Driving around with a bad alternator isn't a smart idea; as damaged or broken alternators can cause a wide range of problems. They can interfere with your car's electrical features, make it harder to start the engine, and even cause the battery to drain entirely, leaving you with an utterly unresponsive vehicle.
Alternators can go bad suddenly, or slowly over time. If your alternator is slowly going bad over time there are some warning signs you can look out for.
While you can technically still drive with a bad alternator, it is not advised. This is especially true in newer vehicle models. This is because there is more electricity involved compared to an older model.
Slow or Malfunctioning Accessories
If you notice your windows taking longer than usual to roll up or down, or if your seat warmers feel “off”, or even if your speedometer and other instruments start going haywire, you may have an alternator problem.
Will a new alternator make my car run better?
If the car's present alternator is failing—for example, not charging the battery enough, or making a horrible whining/grinding noise while the car is running, OR having the dashboard lights dramatically change brightness when the engine speed changes (bad voltage regulator)—then yes, the car will run better with a new ...
Signs of a Bad Alternator
Some of the things to look for are no-starting and trouble starting, dimming lights and problems with stereo system output. If your car starts but stalls when you're underway, your battery is probably not being recharged due to a faulty alternator.
Most of the time, alternators fail as a result of age or use. However, some other factors can cause an alternator to fail prematurely. Fluid leaking on the car alternator can commonly lead to failure. Often, engine oil or power steering fluid can work its way into the alternator and cause it to malfunction or fail.
A battery that won't charge properly puts an excessive strain on the alternator that it was never designed to handle and will quickly cause it to fail. A good battery should never drop below 10 volts when cranking, assuming the starter is in good shape and not pulling excessive current.
Extreme water ingress leads to corrosion at the contacts and terminals, damage to the ball bearings and softening of the carbon brushes. Corroded contacts and terminals cause power drops or lead to no power output. Bearing damage will result in a lot of noise or total failure of the alternator.
A bad alternator will result in a discharged (dead) battery and cause a vehicle to not start or run. Alternators are designed to maintain a battery's charge, not to recharge a dead battery. Your alternator's job is to maintain a consistent charge on your battery. Draining your car's battery is not advised.
Engine damage is one of the worst-case scenarios of alternator trouble and it is definitely a possibility, but it's so difficult and inconvenient to keep a car going with a bad alternator that you'll probably get it fixed long before it causes damage to your engine.
It entirely depends on the capacity of the car battery. If the battery does not have a full charge, the vehicle may run from 5 to 30 minutes. The runtime will increase in case of a fully charged battery.
Can you jumpstart a car with a bad alternator? It is possible in some cases to jumpstart a vehicle that has a faulty alternator, as long as the battery has enough of a charge to keep running. However, the alternator should be replaced as soon as possible.
How Long Does an Alternator Last? Alternators have an impressive lifespan of seven years–or between 80,000 to 150,000 miles. But be careful that you are not wearing it out prematurely!
Do I need a new battery after replacing alternator?
While you have to disconnect the battery from the engine, you do not have to replace the battery when replacing the alternator. Alternators typically have a lifespan between seven and ten years, while batteries last between three and four.
Any installation guide will say that you need to disconnect the battery before installing the new alternator. So, at the very least, you need to make sure that you reconnect it. But you also want to check the condition of the battery. Start by confirming that it is fully charged.
A faulty alternator could ruin a perfectly healthy battery, which would put you further back from a solution than where you started. Don't fret as diagnosing your vehicle's electrical problem is so easy that anyone can do it by running these tests.
If you're hearing a grinding sound in your car, this could indicate that the alternator is going bad. The grinding sound may be caused by a worn-out bearing. Your car can also make a whining sound when the voltage regulator is sending signals to the alternator to charge more than is necessary.
Jumpstart your car. If you can turn the engine on, but it dies shortly thereafter, your car alternator likely isn't able to charge the battery. On the other hand, if you jumpstart the car and later on it fails to start on its own, it's likely a dead battery.
A corroded or defective alternator diode will faultily continue charging the circuit even when the car off. This, in turn, will drain your car battery and cause the car not to start.
Mechanics uses a computerized charging system tester to check your alternator. This is called an AVR test, and it can show if there's a weakness in the charging system, or if you'll need to repair or replace your alternator.
It's definitely possible. Ruining the alternator this way physically would be hard, but burning out electronic components with spikes might have done it. That's a really dumb mechanic, you should never ever do that. The manufacturers typically say don't work on a car that way.
Alternators have a number of moving parts, so as they get dirty and are subjected to extreme temperatures, those internal components can wear out, causing the alternator to go bad. One of the most common problems you're likely to experience with an alternator is a failure in the bearings.
Jumping another car with your engine running. The sudden surge of current when the jumped car is cranked can destroy the internal rectifiers inside your car's alternator.
What causes an alternator to go bad quickly?
There are a few issues that could make the alternator go bad, such as jump-starting the car the wrong way or installing an accessory that overloads it. Leaking fluid in the alternator or a tight belt can also cause damage to the alternator bearings, causing premature wearing.
- Dim or Overly Bright Lights. ...
- Dead Battery. ...
- Slow or Malfunctioning Accessories. ...
- Trouble Starting or Frequent Stalling. ...
- Growling or Whining Noises. ...
- Smell of Burning Rubber or Wires. ...
- Battery Warning Light on Dash.