A vehicle alternator bracket change typically implies an entire alternator belt change in modern vehicles.
Alternator on today’s recent vehicles is vital to its smooth running and continual use. This part is responsible for powering your car’s electrical system while the engine is operating. It equally helps you recharge the battery at the same time. Although the alternator may eventually need replacement, a contributing factor to premature wear and tear is often a broken alternator belt. A leading cause of this issue is a loose fitting or damaged alternator bracket. The information below will assist you know how to adjust an alternator bracket yourself.
To begin with, let’s explain something very vital. If you have a loose-fitting alternator bracket, it should be changed — not merely adjusted. What many people mostly search for with this term is understanding the proper steps for adjusting the alternator belt itself. When the alternator bracket gets loose, it can make the belt to get loose, which develops too much heat and friction and then eventually fails.
So, to offer some practical tips for that unexpected loose alternator bracket issue, below are 5 steps for dealing with a loose alternator bracket.
Step 1: Check the Alternator Belt for Damage
One of the most common signs of a loose or damaged alternator belt is a rattling noise heard under the hood of the vehicle while the engine is running. If you hear this noise and cinfirm that the alternator bracket is loose, you should first check the alternator belt. Specifically, verify at least one of the following 3 situations:
- Is the alternator belt missing from the car?
- Is the alternator belt already loose?
- Are there frays, tears, or symptoms of glazing on the belt?
If your answers to any of these 3 questions is yes, then proceed to the next steps listed below. If the answer is “no” to all the questions, meet a professional mechanic and have them check the vehicle for additional sources of the noise, or if the alternator bracket is loose, have them change it, the alternator belt, and corresponding hardware.
Step 2: Remove the Alternator Belt and Bracket
When you’ve confirmed the alternator bracket is loose, Changing the bracket, the alternator belt, and tensioner pulley is the just right course of action. For this step, please refer to your car’s service manual, as the exact steps are unique for every vehicle type, year, make, and model. The general steps for changing these parts will be stated below for reference.
Step 3: Taking out these Parts
The general steps for removing an alternator bracket, belt, and tensioner are outlined in the following 5 processes:
1. Take out the battery terminals from your car. Anytime you finish repairs under the hood and particularly on electrical system components, you need to take the battery cables from the terminal(s).
2. Remove the alternator adjustment pulley. Once power is taken down, you’ll proceed to take out the alternator adjustment pulley first. This will make it easier to take out the belt and the alternator bracket.
3. Remove the alternator belt. When the pulley has been taken out, your belt will be loose and easier to get off the alternator and crank pulley. It should simply slip off without the tensioner mounted.
4. Remove the alternator. In order to change the alternator bracket, you will have to remove the alternator first. Ensure to document each electrical connection with tape, so that you know where each wire has to be reinstalled.
5. Remove the alternator bracket. This is the last step. Ensure you remove the bracket entirely and clean the base plate with degreaser before attempting to mount the new bracket.
Step 4: Mount the New Hardware
Mounting the new alternator bracket will require a new bracket, belt, and tensioner pulley at the minimum. You should also buy new bolts for the alternator bracket. To install these parts, follow the directions prescribed in your service manual, as each step needs unique torque pressure settings for all bolts.
Step 5: Verify the Belt Tension and Adjust as Required
The last step before reattaching the battery cables is to confirm the belt tension before starting the car. Again, the service manual for your car will offer you with the correct procedures for adjusting the alternator tensioner pulley and the alternator belt. The tension should be strong and not let you to push the belt inward more than a quarter of an inch.
A loose car alternator bracket can make the alternator to fail prematurely. So, if you perceive a rattle under the hood of your car, notice that you have to jump-start your vehicle more frequently than normal, or just don’t feel comfortable changing the alternator bracket, belt, and pensioner pulley, get a mechanic who can change the alternator bracket and corresponding parts for you.