How Much Does a Car Alternator Cost?
Car alternators are mechanical device responsible for charging the battery and powering the electrical system while the engine runs. Car alternators have a voltage regulator that operates by modulating the small field current that produces a constant voltage to the stator output. Once the engine is running and the alternator is generating power, a diode feeds the current from the alternator main output that equalizes the voltage through the warning indicator that shuts off. The price for car alternators depends mainly on the make and model of the car for which it is made.
How much does an alternator cost?
- On average, a car alternator prices are going to range anywhere from $66 to $320. This is not going to include the labor costs. When you factor in labor costs, it’s safe to add another $100 to $275.
- The year can play a rather big factor with the alternator. An alternator that has been made after 1995 or later, you’re looking at price range that varies between $150 and $250. With foreign cars, it’s best to add at least 30 percent to this figure.
- Domestic car alternators for older cars are generally cheaper than newer, foreign makes and models. The average price ranges from $66 to $125.
- The prices of car alternators are different depending on the make and model of the vehicle. For example, for models such as the Celica, Tundra, Corolla, Camry and other sedans can cost anywhere from $66 to $133.
- Honda model of vehicles such as the Honda Civic, the CRV, Pilot, and S2000 of various years can cost anywhere from $157 to $225.
- Alternators for different models of Mitsubishi vehicles such as the Montero, Lancer, Raider and Endeavor will cost anywhere from $136 to $238.
- According to the iSeeCars.com article, the average alternator repair is going to be anywhere between $350 to $450.
- On a Ford F-150 forum thread, many drivers have claimed that they paid anywhere from $200 to $400 for the alternator and labor included. While many deemed that going over $400 may be a rip off, it’s important to do your due diligence before signing any paperwork.
Factors that influence the price:
- Make and model: Like any car repair, the make and model will greatly influence the price of the alternator for a vehicle. If the car isn’t manufactured anymore, you may find that you’re going to have to pay more than a car that is still in production.
- Year: Like the make and model, the year can play a crucial role too. The older the car is, the more you will probably have to pay.
What is going to be included?
- The car alternator is just the device itself, as well as some wiring used to install the part into the vehicle. Instructions will be included to ensure that the part is installed properly. With the procedure, it shouldn’t take no more than 2 hours to complete.
- Most major companies will include a limited warranty to protect the part. This will be on newer parts only.
What are the extra costs?
- Additional parts used to connect the alternator to the vehicle can add to the cost. These parts include a high amp alternator fuse block wiring cable kit, an alternator belt, alternator conversion kit if needed and alternator brackets. They are sold anywhere from $40 to $260.
- Installation of the car alternator by a mechanic can also add to the total cost. If you feel that you don’t have the ability to perform the installation, you need to have it serviced. A mechanic will generally charge anywhere from, $50 to $350 to install an alternator, depending on the complexity of the issue.
- Many times, the mechanic may find that the battery has been drained due to a bad alternator. If this is the case, the mechanic may want to add a new battery just to play it safe. See: “How much does a car battery cost?“
Tips to know:
- To know if your car alternator is bad, first test the headlights. While the car is running, simply turn on the headlights. While the car is in park, slowly press the accelerator. While doing this, if the headlights start to dim or even get brighter, this could be a sure sign that it’s going bad.
How can I save money?
- Make sure that the car alternator you purchase is from a reliable source. Try to get it from the car manufacturer directly. This will ensure that the item is brand new and will last longer.
- If you are on a tight budget, try to purchase remanufactured car alternator. They are cheaper and are backed by warranty as well. Check local junk yards to find alternators that fit your car’s make and model.
- Consider finding a local shop that focuses on alternators. These companies can help rebuild older alternators.
- As long as you don’t have a warranty, it’s safe to steer clear of the dealership. Most dealerships will often charge extra fees to have work done here.