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Our expert insights into alternator replacement

Our expert insights into alternator replacement

What does an alternator do?

It is the device responsible for generating electricity to charge the battery, and it’s coupled with the engine drive, which means whenever the car is running, the battery is being charged!

Symptoms of a malfunctioning alternator

If your battery is flat and refuses to accept charge through normal driving, or if your headlamps aren’t as bright as normal, then your alternator could be the problem.

View more symptomsView more symptoms

How much does it cost to change my alternator? alternator-replacement

Save up to 30% on your alternator replacement. See our table below to browse our honest, upfront prices.

What happens when we replace your alternator?

Our efficient and fully qualified mechanics will replace your alternator, and you will be advised of any other connected or associated problems arising from its malfunction.

Learn moreLearn more

Daniel, from London

Hey Fixter, how often should an alternator need replacing?

Daniel
Terry

Terry, Fixter in-house mechanic expert

checkedCollection and delivery — anywhere

What does an alternator do?

It is the device responsible for generating electricity to charge the battery, and it’s coupled with the engine drive, which means whenever the car is running, the battery is being charged!

Symptoms of a malfunctioning alternator

If your battery is flat and refuses to accept charge through normal driving, or if your headlamps aren’t as bright as normal, then your alternator could be the problem.

View more symptomsView more symptoms

How much does it cost to change my alternator? alternator-replacement

Save up to 30% on your alternator replacement. See our table below to browse our honest, upfront prices.

What happens when we replace your alternator?

Our efficient and fully qualified mechanics will replace your alternator, and you will be advised of any other connected or associated problems arising from its malfunction.

Learn moreLearn more

Daniel, from London

Hey Fixter, how often should an alternator need replacing?

Daniel
Terry

Terry, Fixter in-house mechanic expert

checkedCollection and delivery — anywhere

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How much does alternator replacement cost?

How much does alternator replacement cost?

Honest, upfront quotes and savings up to 30%

A typical alternator replacement in the UK costs around £132.60 - £220.00. Depending on your car brand, model and engine, and whether you live in a big city or a small one, the price of a alternator replacement on your vehicle can be higher or lower. We have computed prices for some of the best-selling cars in the UK in order to give you an idea of how much the alternator replacement should cost.

Car make and modelDealers
average price
Fixter logoexclusive price
Instant savings

Vauxhall Agila Expression Twinport

1 litres

£249.87 £202.0019%

Peugeot 108

1.2 litres

£237.05 £204.0014%

Renault Clio

1.2 litres

£157.40 £132.6016%

Mini Cooper Clubman

1.6 litres

£251.94 £204.0019%

Smart City Passion 61

0.7 litres

£163.38 £141.7013%

Citroen Berlingo Mspace Forte

2 litres

£266.83 £218.0018%

Hyundai Atoz

1 litres

£256.61 £216.0016%

Seat Altea

1.4 litres

£260.26 £220.0015%

Skoda Citigo

1 litres

£252.07 £216.0014%

Toyota Auris Excel Vvt

1.8 litres

£252.31 £214.0015%

Mini Cooper Clubman

1.6 litres

£251.94 £204.0019%

Smart City Passion 61

0.7 litres

£163.38 £141.7013%

Skoda Citigo

1 litres

£252.07 £216.0014%

Peugeot 108

1.2 litres

£237.05 £204.0014%

Seat Altea

1.4 litres

£260.26 £220.0015%
Get your free quote and save up to 30%Get an instant quote

* The cost of your alternator replacement depends on your car make and model and may vary depending on your location.

Our trusted and certified garages

MILLENNIUM GARAGES

London, UK
stars-4
23 reviews
MILLENNIUM GARAGES is located in London, UK. We provide quality car services and repairs with our team of expert mechanics

HOLOCENE MOTOR GROUP

London, UK
stars-4.5
15 reviews
HOLOCENE MOTOR GROUP is located in London, UK. We provide quality car services and repairs with our team of expert mechanics

BLENHEIM TRANSPORT LTD

LONDON, UK
stars-4
11 reviews
We are located in LONDON, UK and handle your vehicle's MOT, Servicing and Repairs for all car makes and models.

PORSHEWORX ENGINEERING LTD

London, UK
stars-4
21 reviews
We are located in London, UK and handle your vehicle's MOT, Servicing and Repairs for all car makes and models.

CANNING CAR CARE

London, UK
stars-5
16 reviews
CANNING CAR CARE is located in London, UK. We provide quality car services and repairs with our team of expert mechanics

DUNDALK MOTORS

London, UK
stars-4.5
20 reviews
We are located in London, UK and handle your vehicle's MOT, Servicing and Repairs for all car makes and models.

Here’s what our customers have to say…

  • Angela Best
    from London
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    Found out my mot had run out and needed to get it done quick. Found fixter on website. Prompt collection by Tony. Received a call roughly an hour later to say car passed mot and is ready to be delivered back. Fantastic service. Will be using them again. Cheers guys.

  • Mark S
    from Manchester
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    Car picked up on time, dropped off on time, and no issues or problems - a straight forward service with no hassle (which is all you ever want). Having your car picked up and dropped off is so convenient - what an amazing service!

  • Customer
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    I booked in for a major service and MOT. They were very efficient. They picked up my car, serviced it well and returned it well in time. Thank you guys so much

  • Customer
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    My vehicle got returned to me a whole day late and my car still says a service is required. Not a happy customer at all. Coral,

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    from London
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    Have no problem recommending this company. Genuine and honest. Will use again and again if needed

  • Customer
    from London
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    Pros: Quick online booking process. Cons: Returned car over an hour after slot booked.

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Fully qualified mechanics with 10+ years’ experience 👨‍🔧

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Manufacturer-equivalent parts only ⚙️

Identical to your manufacturer’s, but much cheaper!

In-house experts approve all work personally 🔍

Every service carried out by our partner garages is fully reviewed.

12-month warranty on parts and labour 🛠

Any additional work needed will be carried out for free.

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Your alternator replacement is in safe hands with our top-rated mechanics

mechanics

We personally select every local garage based on our unique 25-point criteria, which includes staff qualifications, equipment standards and customer ratings.

Fully qualified mechanics with 10+ years’ experience 👨‍🔧

Your car is in the UK’s safest expert hands.

Manufacturer-equivalent parts only ⚙️

Identical to your manufacturer’s, but much cheaper!

In-house experts approve all work personally 🔍

Every service carried out by our partner garages is fully reviewed.

12-month warranty on parts and labour 🛠

Any additional work needed will be carried out for free.

Get an instant quote

Want to learn more about alternator replacement?

Want to learn more about alternator replacement?

What does an alternator do?

When the engine is running, the alternator generates energy, charges the car battery and supplies electricity to the vehicle electrical systems.

What are the signs of a bad alternator?

A faulty alternator can make it very difficult to start your engine. You may hear a clicking noise where the engine would normally turn over. You may also hear growling or whining noises and smell burning rubber. The ALT or GEN light on your dashboard warnings should illuminate. You will also notice your headlamps and internal lighting dim when the car is idling. Electrical components can stop working as they would normally, and your battery will drain and die.

How often should an alternator need replacing?

An alternator typically lasts around 7 years or between 100k and 150k miles.

How do you know when to replace an alternator?

Only a mechanic will know when an alternator needs replacing or repairing. Typical signs include the battery failing to charge, electrical components failing to operate correctly, lights dimming, and burning smells or grinding and whining noises coming from under the bonnet. A battery warning light on your dashboard can also be a clear indicator.

What kills the alternator?

One of the most likely causes of an alternator breakdown is bearing failure. This prevents the rotor from spinning freely. If the alternator drive belt is too tight, or it's too loose and slipping, this can also add wear and problems to your alternator.

How much does it cost to fix the alternator?

Replacing an alternator will probably cost around £200 to £350. As you would expect, the price will increase significantly with high-end vehicles and much bigger cars. You could pay up to £1000 for a luxury model's replacement.

Is an alternator expensive?

Replacing an alternator will cost a few hundred pounds for a typical family car. Given the expected lifespan and the amount of use you'll get from yours, it's not a terribly expensive component for the work it does when powering your vehicle.

How long can you drive with a bad alternator?

The time you can drive with a failed alternator depends on the charge in your battery and the amount of electrical operations performing while driving. Modern cars have an abundance of electrical components that require electricity to power them, so it makes sense to turn as many off as possible. Features such as power steering and automatic transmissions will drain your battery much faster than cars without.

You should have your faulty alternator repaired or replaced as soon as possible—you can't ever know how long your battery will last or how far you can travel.

Can a bad alternator destroy a new battery?

A broken or badly functioning alternator can completely drain your battery. If the battery is drained repeatedly, it will affect its capacity and shorten its life. A new battery should be able to withstand a few full drains, but wherever you're unsure of the condition of your battery, it's a good idea to have it tested.

How long will a new battery last if the alternator is bad?

There is no hard and fast answer to this question. Different cars will have different drains on electrical power, and the size of the battery also plays its part. You might get a couple of hours out of a fully charged, healthy battery, or you might not get as much as 20 minutes. Driving with the lights or other electrical components in use will dramatically reduce the time your battery will last.

Can a car run without an alternator?

It's possible to run a car without an alternator. The alternator provides electrical power to your car under normal use, so when the alternator is missing or broken, it's left to the battery to provide the same power to your car and all of its electrical components.

Do alternators fail suddenly?

An alternator can fail without warning or notice. There are many reasons an alternator could stop working, many of which are immediate and others much slower, delivering advance notice of its demise.

How long does it take to fix an alternator?

Depending on the make and model of your car, changing the alternator will usually take between 1–2 hours.

How do you check if your alternator is working?

Connect a voltmeter or multimeter to your battery terminals. If the reading is between 13 and 14.5 volts while the engine is running, with the lights and other electrical accessories turned off, then the alternator is providing charge to the battery. The reading without the engine running needs to be around 12.2volts to start the car.

How can I test my alternator at home?

You will need a voltmeter or multimeter to test your car's alternator at home. Select the DC voltage and attach each probe to the car battery terminals, making sure you apply positive to positive and negative to negative. Your battery voltage should be between 12.2–12.6v without the engine running. Start the engine, and the reading should increase to somewhere around the 14v mark if your alternator is functioning correctly.

Can you jumpstart a car with a bad alternator?

Yes, you can. However, your car might not run for long without sufficient charge on the battery. Because your car requires less charge to run it than to start it, hooking up your battery to another vehicle makes it possible to start and run, albeit temporarily, your car.

What happens when your alternator dies while driving?

If your alternator dies while driving your car, you will slowly lose power, your lights will dim, the warnings on your dashboard will probably illuminate, and eventually, your engine will stop running.

What does a bad alternator smell like?

A broken or failing alternator can emit smells of burning rubber or scorched wiring. Friction between misaligned belts and pulleys will cause the burning rubber smell, and an overheating alternator can emit those burning wire smells.

How do you fix an alternator?

It depends on how your alternator has broken to whether or not it's worth trying to repair it. It's possible to replace the brushes, regulator and other components of a faulty alternator. We would always advise drivers to seek professional assistance if they're not completely sure they understand the problem or how to carry out a replacement or the repair work.

Can I replace the alternator myself?

A competent DIY mechanic should be able to replace their alternator; however, it's not a job for the faint-hearted. Some modern cars have the alternator located so deep within the engine compartment that it creates a lot of additional issues with their replacement.

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