How To Replace A Toyota Alternator

Has your Toyota’s alternator gone bad? Are you thinking about bringing it to the shop to have the alternator replaced? There’s another option that’s much cheaper, and it is to replace the alternator yourself. This type of job may sound a bit intimidating, but it’s actually much easier than it sounds. You just need a few basic tools and this set of instructions.

Telltale Signs Of A Bad Alternator

Testing alternator

Are you unsure if your alternator has gone bad? Let’s see if you’re experiencing any of the following signs:

  • Difficulty starting the engine
  • Power windows operating slower than normal
  • Growling or whining noise coming from the alternator
  • Warning light in the dash
  • Smell of burning rubber
  • Car not starting due to dead battery
  • Dim headlights

This diagnostic guide will help you determine whether or not your alternator has gone bad.

The Tools You’ll Need

Before replacing the alternator, you need to gather together all the tools you’ll need. The necessary tools depends on which Toyota model you have. This list is based on the Camry.

  • 10 to 19 mm socket wrenches
  • Long ratchet and/or breaker bar
  • 8 to 14 mm wrenches (ratcheting optional)
  • Small flathead screwdriver
  • Torque wrench

Getting A Replacement Alternator First

Before tackling this job, you need a replacement alternator first. You can visit a Toyota dealership to pick up an OEM replacement alternator, or you can order one online. In fact, you’ll save a lot of money by ordering a genuine OEM alternator from us. We offer wholesale pricing and fast shipping. Look up your Toyota in our catalog of alternators to find the right alternator for your car.

How To Replace Your Alternator

When you have your replacement alternator and all the tools you need, it’s time to install it. This job can take between 30 minutes and 2 hours. It depends on your experience and which Toyota you have. Some alternators are mounted low in the engine bay. Others are much more accessible.

Change alternator

We based this set of instructions on the Toyota Camry model. If you have another Toyota model, you may be able to follow this set of instructions. Expect some variations, though.

  1. Open the hood.
  2. Disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery, and then put it aside.
  3. Take the 19mm wrench with the long ratchet handle and then loosen the belt tensioner. Push it down to slip the belt off the alternator pulley.
  4. Disconnect the electrical connector for the control harness from the alternator. (The control harness has several wires running to a multi-wire connector.)
  5. Remove the little plastic cap that’s covering the power cable connected to the alternator. (The power cable is a thick red cable that runs from the alternator to the battery.)
  6. Remove the 10 mm nut from the alternator and then remove the cable.
  7. There’s another 10 mm nut that’s holding the wire bracket onto the alternator. Remove it and then set aside the wire bracket.
  8. There are two bolts holding the alternator in place. Remove those.
  9. Wiggle the alternator out.
  10. Install the new alternator in the reverse order of removal.

Got any questions about replacing your alternator? Need assistance finding the right alternator for your Toyota model? You’re welcome to contact us!

Written by Jason Lancaster