Nationwide Auto Recycling Inc Used Auto Parts in Massachusetts

How to Pick Out a Used Alternator

Some folks are skeptical about replacing failing alternators with other used alternators. We, however, offer a wide selection of OEM alternators that might be a good option for your repair.

To pick out a used alternator, you’re going to want to make sure you research the original manufacturer or your alternator. This ensures that you’re purchasing a replacement that is correct and guaranteed to work in your car.

There are cheaper alternatives from inexpensive manufacturers on retailers like Amazon, however, their ability to apply a consistent current of electrical charge to your vehicle may be questionable.

What Does the Alternator Do?

The alternator helps the engine convert chemical energy into electricity energy to power the battery and allow electricity to run through and power your vehicle.

It is an essential part of the car, and your car cannot run without a working alternator.

3 signs your alternator is failing:

  • Headlights dimming/flickering
  • Dashboard lights flickering/losing luminosity
  • Car slows as battery slowly dies

How much is a new alternator versus a used alternator?

New alternators can cost in the range of $100-$350, whereas a used alternator can cost in the range of $20-$50. Plus, if you plan on having an auto body repair shop complete the job, add an extra $100-$150 for labor.

OEM Alternator Replacement Process

Thankfully, replacing your alternator is an easy do-it-yourself project. Depending on your comfortability with your car, the project can take 2-3 hours to complete. You’re going to need quite a few tools as well as the replacement alternator itself to complete the job.

These are the ten steps to replace your alternator:

1. Save your vehicle’s preset electronics memory.

2. Disconnect the wiring attached to the negative battery cable.

3. Loosen up the belt tensioner.

4. Loosen and remove the serpentine belt. Hold onto the belt for later.

5. Remove the wiring harness or connectors.

6. Loosen and remove the old alternator.

7. Install the new alternator, making sure it fits and aligns with the bolt holes.

8. Put the replacement belt on.

9. Make sure to check the tension on the belt.

10. Reconnect the negative battery cable.

Used Alternators vs New: Which to Choose?

Replacing the alternator can be a time-intensive project but is still very doable for someone willing and able. You can save even more money by using OEM parts as compared to new parts, especially when purchasing from a salvage yard. 

Do your research to find out the exact parts you need before tackling this project, and reach out to our staff at Nationwide Auto Recycling for their expert tips and guidance. We have a wide selection of used alternators for sale that may suit your needs.

Reach out to us if you’re interested in exploring our inventory of OEM alternator parts in Central Massachusetts. We can assist you in your alternator replacement project from start to finish!