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How Much Does an Alternator Replacement Cost?

CarPart  ·  November 3, 2021

How Much Does an Alternator Replacement Cost?

The car alternator is a critical component in your car’s overall function. Sadly, like any other car part, the alternator will eventually fail and require a replacement. 

You can expect to pay anywhere from $400 to $1,500 for a new car alternator in Australia. The exact price will depend on the vehicle you drive and whether you’re buying brand-new or used. The replacement will take at least 2 hours to install.

Keep reading about what a car alternator does and when you should replace it. More importantly, we’ll also tell you how long you can expect your new alternator to last.

Let’s get started!

What Does a Car Alternator Do?

Let’s do a quick recap about what an alternator is and what role it plays in your car’s overall function.

Your car alternator is essentially a generator, and it is responsible for keeping your car battery charged at all times. In doing so, the car alternator is the same component that keeps your car's electrical system supplied with the power it needs.

To put all that into perspective, remember that your car’s electrical system includes:

The alternator is critical to ensuring that your car can start and that many of its safety and comfort features can work as they should.

Here’s how it works: The car engine conveys energy to the alternator through the drive belt. As the belt turns the alternator, the alternator converts this mechanical energy into electrical energy and sends this to the battery.

As you can see, the alternator is a car part that you cannot afford to neglect. Furthermore, a failed alternator will have a cascading effect that leads to many other car components failing.

So, if you think you need a new alternator, you’ll want to get the troubleshooting or replacement done as soon as possible.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace an Alternator?

So, let’s say you have an alternator that’s giving you trouble, and you’d like to buy a new one. Well, the alternator replacement cost is not small. Depending on what vehicle you’re driving, you can expect to pay $400 to $1500 for a new alternator. 

That price includes the component itself plus the labour charges to have it installed. As you’ll see in the section below, the cost of an alternator replacement goes beyond just dollars and cents, as the replacement will take a fair bit of time to complete.

How Long Does It Take to Replace an Alternator?

Replacing a car’s alternator is time-consuming and can take at least two hours to complete. Of course, that time frame is based on the assumption that you (or the person replacing it) have the necessary skills and experience.

If you send your car to the workshop to have the alternator replaced, be prepared to leave it there for the day. 

Sure, your mechanic has the skills and tools to get the job done, but it’s still a labour-intensive process with many steps involved. So, it’s best to temper your expectations and not rush your mechanic.

When Should You Replace Your Alternator?

You should replace your car’s alternator when you start to notice these signs:

You can find out more about the symptoms of a bad alternator by checking out our in-depth guide about alternator failure here

Remember that your car alternator is critical to the car’s function, so you’ll want to troubleshoot it as soon as possible. Delaying that could result in your car stalling and even failing to start at all.

How Long Will a New Car Alternator Last?

With an expensive spare part like an alternator, most people want to know how to make theirs last as long as possible.

For a brand-new alternator, you can expect it to keep working for 64,000-160,000 km or approximately 7 years, whichever comes first. That’s quite a broad range, and the lifespan of your newly installed alternator will depend on:

What Causes Alternator Failure?

The numbers mentioned above regarding the alternator’s lifespan are based on the assumption that the alternator wears out naturally. However, some situations can trigger an alternator to fail immediately (and cost you another replacement), regardless of how new it might be.

Now that you know how important it is to get your problematic alternator replaced (with a suitable replacement, no less), don’t delay any longer.

Locate repair shops and mechanics near you with our directory. You can also check out the Marketplace if you’re looking for a used part and a good deal, or request parts via the Part Finder to save you time and money!

By Ray Hasbollah

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