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Alternator Cost


How Much Does an Alternator Cost?

 
low costAlternator Only: $100-$1,000+average costEasy Access: $200-$1,200+, Parts & Laborhigh costComplex Access: $400-$1,800+, Parts & Labor
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An alternator generates the power needed to operate a vehicle's electrical system and to keep its battery charged. Dim lights, a whining noise or a dashboard warning light (typically shaped like a battery or saying "ALT") may indicate that the alternator is going out.

Typical costs:

  • An alternator produced by a company other than the vehicle manufacturer typically costs $100-$500 or more for just the aftermarket part, depending on the year, make and model of vehicle; and $250-$1,000 or more for one made by the vehicle manufacturer (called an OEM part). Less-expensive alternators may also be rebuilt or remanufactured (rebuilt at a factory).
  • Alternators for foreign vehicles are typically more expensive than those for domestic American cars, and parts for luxury vehicles are typically the most expensive. For example, RepairPal.com[1] estimates the typical cost of an alternator part for a 2008 Toyota Camry at $271-$649; or $995-$1,111 for a 2008 Lexus LS460.
  • On a vehicle where the alternator is located near the top of the engine, providing relatively easy access, replacing the alternator typically requires one to three hours of labor at about $50-$120 an hour, bringing typical total costs for parts and labor to $200-$600 for an aftermarket part or $300-$1,200 for an OEM alternator at a dealership.
  • If the vehicle's alternator is located deep inside the engine, requiring the disconnection and removal of many other parts to reach the alternator, replacing the alternator can take five to eight hours of labor at about $50-$120 an hour, bringing typical total costs for parts and labor to $400-$800 for an aftermarket part or $500-$1,800 for an OEM alternator installed at a car dealership.
  • For example, RepairPal.com[2] estimates that replacing an alternator on a 2008 Toyota Camry 2.4L 4 Cylinder costs $271-$649 for parts and $96-$122 labor in Sacramento, CA or $110-$141 labor in Trenton, NJ, for total costs of $364-$771; and for the same model car but with a 3.5L V6 engine, the part costs the same but labor is estimated at $336-$771, bringing total costs to $596-$1,077.
Related articles: Car Battery, Car Battery Charger, Starter Motor Replacement, Tune-up, Towing a Car

What should be included:
  • HowStuffWorks.com lists symptoms of alternator problems[3] .
  • Replacing an alternator requires disconnecting the battery, disconnecting the belts and wires attached to the alternator and removing the bolts that secure the alternator to the vehicle. On many cars this is a relatively straightforward process that takes a couple of hours of work. However, on a few cars the alternator is difficult to reach inside the engine, and requires removing multiple parts and wires before the alternator can be disconnected and removed. It all depends on the make and model of vehicle, and how it is put together.
  • AutoMD.com explains how to replace an alternator[4] , estimating that in general this a moderately complex project that takes about 2.1 hours.
Additional costs:
  • When replacing the alternator, it's a good idea to check the condition of the serpentine belt, which winds through the front of the engine in a snake-like manner, bringing power to the alternator and other accessories. If the serpentine belt is chipped or cracked and needs replacing, it can add $25-$75 or more to the total cost.
Shopping for an alternator:
  • Before replacing the alternator, make sure it is causing the problem. The Family Handyman magazine explains how to test the battery and alternator[5] to determine which one is not working properly.
  • Alternator replacement can be done at a car dealership, an independent repair shop, or car-repair chains like Pep Boys[6] or Sears[7] . Both the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence[8] and the International Automotive Technicians Network[9] provide a searchable directory of repair shops.
  • Consumer Reports lists tips for finding a good mechanic[10] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
replacing alternator
Amount: $502.00
Posted by: amanda s in olathe, KS.Posted: February 28th, 2015 06:02AM
Car Year: 2000Auto Shop: robert brogden
Alternator is costing me $502 for parts and labor, my dad told me to go ahead and get taken care of, but others are saying I've been charged too much. I dont know if I am doing the right thing?
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External Resources:
  1.  repairpal.com/estimator
  2.  repairpal.com/estimator
  3.  auto.howstuffworks.com/under-the-hood/diagnosing-car-problems/mechanical/5-signs-altern...
  4.  www.automd.com/13/how-to-replace-an-alternator/
  5.  www.familyhandyman.com/DIY-Projects/Car---Truck/Auto-Repair/how-to-replace-an-alternator
  6.  storelocator.pepboys.com/pepboys/
  7.  www.sears.com/automotive/v-1020005
  8.  www.ase.com/Landing-Pages/Car-Owners/Find-a-Repair-Shop/Shop-Locator.aspx
  9.  autorepair.iatn.net/
  10.  www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/12/how-to-find-a-great-car-mechanic/index.htm
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