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Old 04-02-2008, 11:00 AM   #1
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Alternator Replacement

My Alternator died and needs to be replaced. One estimate is for $250 parts + $160 Labor. Another $202 parts, $255 labor. This question has been asked before by others but there hasn't been a straight forward answer; how difficult is the alternator to replace on my own?

The directions from Motorvate.ca look pretty straight forward. I replace my water pump but it took some time. Is this job anything like that? to those who have done both, is the alternator easier/harder?
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:22 AM   #2
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i haven't done a maxima alternator, but alts in general are usually diy'able if your somewhat experienced.

youd be better off gettin the alt off ebay then paying those prices.
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:36 AM   #3
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find part off ebay and get other orgers near you to help you install.
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:44 AM   #4
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The write up looks fairly easy. Basically, remove the radiator and a couple bolts and remove. THe machanic said 3 hours worth of labor. If they can do it in 3, I can do it in 6. Am I wrong?
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:45 AM   #5
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as long as you have the right tools. And you able to lift your car
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:47 AM   #6
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the part where you push the compressor out the way, my mechanic took that off all together to make it easier.
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:56 AM   #7
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as long as you have the right tools. And you able to lift your car
I have a creeper and jack stands
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:36 PM   #8
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The write up looks fairly easy. Basically, remove the radiator and a couple bolts and remove. THe machanic said 3 hours worth of labor. If they can do it in 3, I can do it in 6. Am I wrong?

I changed my alternator last weekend, I did not have to remove the radiator at all. There are 4 bolts on the A/C compressor, 3 on the Alternator and be sure to loosen up the nut on the tensioner pulley before you try to loosen the the tensioner. I then just pushed the compressor out of my way so the alternator could come out. It wasn't that bad at all, it took a couple of hours and thats because I had a six pack while i was working on it .
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:41 PM   #9
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I changed my alternator last weekend, I did not have to remove the radiator at all. There are 4 bolts on the A/C compressor, 3 on the Alternator and be sure to loosen up the nut on the tensioner pulley before you try to loosen the the tensioner. I then just pushed the compressor out of my way so the alternator could come out. It wasn't that bad at all, it took a couple of hours and thats because I had a six pack while i was working on it .
You rock! This is what I wanted to hear. I'm going to give it a shot on Saturday. Thanks so much!!!
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:46 PM   #10
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let us know if you were able to do it for future references if i have to do mine and yea goodluck
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Old 04-02-2008, 02:12 PM   #11
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Just in case I was to vague, here is what i followed the first time I changed the Alt. http://www.motorvate.ca/mvp.php/500 it even has pics. The guide shows to remove the fan but I was able to move everything around just fine without removing it.
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:40 PM   #12
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alternator

I didn't remove the radiator but i removed the fans. Moved the compressor out of the way but did not remove. It took about 2 hours. Its not hard and definitely wouldn't pay to have it done.
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Old 04-02-2008, 10:16 PM   #13
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damn dats too much, i went to my shop and got mine done for 150 everything
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:51 AM   #14
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damn dats too much, i went to my shop and got mine done for 150 everything
Where is this shop? How did you get such a good price?
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Old 04-05-2008, 10:46 PM   #15
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as long as you have the right tools. And you able to lift your car
I replaced my alternator pulley (alternator must be removed to do this) without even jacking it up, all I did was turn the steering all the way to the right and I could get to it in front of the wheel, so you dont even HAVE to do that! This is an easy job, it only requires that you take the belt off, take a radiator hoses lose, and take the a/c compressor lose (but for heaven's sake, dont disconnect the a/c hose! That complicates things!) and then you have full access to the alternator!

p.s. - I dont remember, but you MIGHT have to also remove the radiator fans, its been a while, I dont remember, so I cant say, but still, no big deal right?
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:54 AM   #16
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ro remove the fans just gives you a little extra room and i feel that it is worth it to spend the few minutes to remove them. 4 bolts on the a/c compressor 14 mm I believe. follow that write up on motorvate and all will be well.
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Old 04-06-2008, 05:22 PM   #17
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Easy Job

Just to update everyone and have it written for people looking to do this job in the future....

Replacing the alternator was an easy job. From start to finish it took me 3 hours exactly. To start with, I was able to get an refurbished alternator from Advance Auto for $138 ($238 - $100 core). Using the write up from http://www.motorvate.ca/mvp.php/500 I jacked up the front end of my car, (kept the radiator in), removed the belt, dropped the compressor down allowing for room to work, removed the electrical components from the alternator, removed the alternator, and reversed with the new Alt.

I found the hardest part was getting the long bolt back into the new alternator. Hint: Before installing the new alternator, make sure the spacer on the back side is all the way in towards the middle of the alternator. The spacer on mine was out towards the back. I didnt notice this until I had the new alternator in place and the bolt couldnt reach the nut. I then had to remove it and hammer the spacer back towards the middle.

Other than that it went very smoothly. The instructions at http://www.motorvate.ca/mvp.php/500 were spot on.

Thanks to everyone who gave their input before hand.

Total time: 3 hours
Total $ spent: $138
Total savings: $317
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Old 04-06-2008, 09:47 PM   #18
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im glad u saved some money on that. these mechanics shops are over priced 4 easy job i hate when they tell u i have to look on the cumputer to see how long its going to take to fix that mean while it takes them half n hour i want to take that computer n brake it over his head!!!!
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Old 04-07-2008, 06:54 AM   #19
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My Alternator died and needs to be replaced. One estimate is for $250 parts + $160 Labor. Another $202 parts, $255 labor. This question has been asked before by others but there hasn't been a straight forward answer; how difficult is the alternator to replace on my own?

The directions from Motorvate.ca look pretty straight forward. I replace my water pump but it took some time. Is this job anything like that? to those who have done both, is the alternator easier/harder?
i went to Autozone and pick one up for like $180 with lifetime warrantee .. I didn't have to take anything but the altenator .. if you do you thinking first you can squeesen it ... it took me about 1 hour to take the old one and put the new one ..I don't know how handy you are but I would wake up early on a saturday and try it for your self you'll see that is not that difficult ..
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:09 AM   #20
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Dont try to remove the alternator from the top its almost impossible to much work, lift ur car and do it from under, remove the carborator 1st, thatway makes the job alot easier. peace!
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:44 PM   #21
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wowww $410 bucks for alternator and labor dude run from that guy quick
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:47 PM   #22
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Lower bolt too long to remove?

Read the links, read the thread - everything has been fine right up until I go to remove the lower bolt. Taking it out, it hits the side of the car before it comes out and I can't wiggle the alternator out! Great chance I'm a moron, but dammit if I can't get that bolt (and the whole alternator) out.

Taking way too long on this any thoughts?
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:54 PM   #23
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Alright, I did a stupid... I'm in the middle of trying to replace my alternator, and the idler pulley nut is stuck hard on. Tried PB Blaster, several wrenches, and I'm worried I'm stripping it.

Can I get the alternator off without loosening this? It looks like the lower alternator bolt is blocked by it...if I could get that bolt off, I figure I'd be able to drop the alternator a bit and pull the belt off of it... but am I going to have problems retightening the belt at the end?

If it's really stuck, does anyone have any advice? It's righty-tighty, lefty loosey, right?
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:17 PM   #24
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Alright, I did a stupid... I'm in the middle of trying to replace my alternator, and the idler pulley nut is stuck hard on. Tried PB Blaster, several wrenches, and I'm worried I'm stripping it.

Can I get the alternator off without loosening this? It looks like the lower alternator bolt is blocked by it...if I could get that bolt off, I figure I'd be able to drop the alternator a bit and pull the belt off of it... but am I going to have problems retightening the belt at the end?

If it's really stuck, does anyone have any advice? It's righty-tighty, lefty loosey, right?
Did u lossen the belt 1st? I think you have to before taking the pully bolt.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:01 PM   #25
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Well, I am off to Sears to buy a Bolt-Out set...on sale for $10, http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...2061000P?mv=rr . Will let everyone know how it goes.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:28 PM   #26
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I just did mine and never could maneuver the f'n thing enuff to get it out w/o removing both the fans AND the radiator! I did not move the A/C comp. as that didn't seem like it would help. I got the alternator out w/o moving the A/C comp. easy enuff, but just couldn't get the alt. out w/o banging up the radiator. Maybe that's where I went wrong as I worked at it under the car, but removed it up and out of the engine bay. Maybe by moving the A/C comp. it can drop down...is that it? Still, wasn't too bad of a job overall.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:47 PM   #27
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I just did mine and never could maneuver the f'n thing enuff to get it out w/o removing both the fans AND the radiator! I did not move the A/C comp. as that didn't seem like it would help. I got the alternator out w/o moving the A/C comp. easy enuff, but just couldn't get the alt. out w/o banging up the radiator. Maybe that's where I went wrong as I worked at it under the car, but removed it up and out of the engine bay. Maybe by moving the A/C comp. it can drop down...is that it? Still, wasn't too bad of a job overall.
Remove all of the compressor mounting bolts, the alternator job gets a lot easier. Absolutely no reason to remove the radiator or fans.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:28 PM   #28
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Uhhhh...the bolt removers are too thick to get in there. Any ideas on how to remove that idler pulley??
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:31 PM   #29
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Uhhhh...the bolt removers are too thick to get in there. Any ideas on how to remove that idler pulley??
You are trying to loosen the center nut on the tensioner pulley, correct?

Can you get to the 3 tensioner bracket mounting bolts with a wrench?
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:58 PM   #30
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Remove all of the compressor mounting bolts, the alternator job gets a lot easier. Absolutely no reason to remove the radiator or fans.
Silly me...shoulda done it that way and would have saved a lot of time and aggravation. Thanks though, will remember that next time.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:28 PM   #31
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Got it! I went back to the main bolt and just made sure a good grip on it, and off it came. Alternator is in now, works great. Thanks for all the advice!

Note: I had a problem with the spacer on the alternator. The one I got from Kragen was jammed in the wrong direction...had to go back and get a new one. Make sure you check it before installing!
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:01 PM   #32
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i actually feel like a major idiot for asking this but i worked on gm's for a very long time. whats up with the tensioner bolt? i cranked on it in both directions and it didnt lift off the belt at all. is it a cease problem or am i just not doing it right? i still got more to learn about these fine nissan cars.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:07 PM   #33
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i actually feel like a major idiot for asking this but i worked on gm's for a very long time. whats up with the tensioner bolt? i cranked on it in both directions and it didnt lift off the belt at all. is it a cease problem or am i just not doing it right? i still got more to learn about these fine nissan cars.
You did loosen the nut on the tensioner pulley first, right?

If you want to learn about the cars, read up on it (this information is in the stickies), take a look through the FSM, etc.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-26-2009, 03:24 PM   #34
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Thanks for bumping this. Someone must have read my mind. I came across this post searching in the recent past, but thankfully it popped back up to the top in the past couple days since my alternator just died. Now I have the joy of getting to do a alternator replacement tomorrow on my much needed day of rest. Yeah, I got a quote at Firestone for alternator - $289 and labor - $191 for a grand total of $480. lol I told them they were smoking crack and hit up Autozone instead, plus it comes with a lifetime warranty.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:52 PM   #35
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Woohoo! I just finished the job. It took me about 3 hours, though ~30 minutes of that was just taking some time under the car with the flashlight familiarizing myself with where everything goes so I don't end up with extra parts. I was a bit concerned at first that the job would be tough but, it was actually very easy, just a bit time consuming and just a bit of physical exertion. Thanks for the write ups everyone, as well as to whoever wrote the instructions on Motorvate.
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Old 03-28-2009, 12:06 PM   #36
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i changed mine what a pain in the a$$..... but its douable...
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Old 03-28-2009, 12:39 PM   #37
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grats on getting the job done. my cousin took mine out to have it tested in about 20 mins with minimal tools and just some jack stands. looked to be fairly easy without removing any other major parts to get it out.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:22 AM   #38
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Alternators Repeatedly Failing -- Cause?

In the past few months I have replaced the battery three times, and the local Nissan dealer is about to install the third new alternator. The previous two replacements were aftermarket, and this one is going to be Nissan.

At one time I thought all I had was a parasitic current draw that could not be found (no matter how many fuses were pulled to find the faulty circuit).

But the last time the car's battery went dead, when we jump-started it, we found that the car would immediately die as soon as the jumpers were removed. An alternator only a few days old would not keep the engine running. Once the car is running, the alternator should keep it running even if the battery cables are removed.

I began to think that maybe there was nothing wrong with the alternator(s) but rather something was wrong with the wiring from the alternators to the battery and the ignition system.

The dealer said that even new alternators can be ruined if a parasitic current draw repeatedly drains the battery below 12 volts overnight; because the alternator can't stand to recharge a battery many times. But this one died in less than two weeks, and I didn't use the car every day.

This is the fourth time someone has said I need to replace the alternator. The dealer now says that the aftermarket alternator might have "burned out" because it was insufficiently insulated and the alternator is close to the exhaust manifold.

It looks like batteries are draining because brand new alternators don't charge them. Other than incredibly bad luck and a run of defective alternators, can anyone tell me what might prevent an alternator from charging the battery and energizing the ignition system?

Thanks.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:56 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by gallilaw View Post
In the past few months I have replaced the battery three times, and the local Nissan dealer is about to install the third new alternator. The previous two replacements were aftermarket, and this one is going to be Nissan.

At one time I thought all I had was a parasitic current draw that could not be found (no matter how many fuses were pulled to find the faulty circuit).

But the last time the car's battery went dead, when we jump-started it, we found that the car would immediately die as soon as the jumpers were removed. An alternator only a few days old would not keep the engine running. Once the car is running, the alternator should keep it running even if the battery cables are removed.

I began to think that maybe there was nothing wrong with the alternator(s) but rather something was wrong with the wiring from the alternators to the battery and the ignition system.

The dealer said that even new alternators can be ruined if a parasitic current draw repeatedly drains the battery below 12 volts overnight; because the alternator can't stand to recharge a battery many times. But this one died in less than two weeks, and I didn't use the car every day.

This is the fourth time someone has said I need to replace the alternator. The dealer now says that the aftermarket alternator might have "burned out" because it was insufficiently insulated and the alternator is close to the exhaust manifold.

It looks like batteries are draining because brand new alternators don't charge them. Other than incredibly bad luck and a run of defective alternators, can anyone tell me what might prevent an alternator from charging the battery and energizing the ignition system?

Thanks.
This is almost exactly like a problem I've been having. My car is in the shop right now to get that looked at, along with another problem. The mechanic believes that the drain is coming from a bad battery terminal, so he's gonna try fixing that after the other issue is dealt with. I'll report back after I pick up my car later.
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:40 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by agmetal View Post
This is almost exactly like a problem I've been having. My car is in the shop right now to get that looked at, along with another problem. The mechanic believes that the drain is coming from a bad battery terminal, so he's gonna try fixing that after the other issue is dealt with. I'll report back after I pick up my car later.
He fixed the battery connection, and it seems to be fine.
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Old 04-03-2009, 07:40 PM
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