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What is a Car Alternator?

Your alternator keeps your car’s battery charged, allowing you to start your vehicle and power your electronics. It uses your car’s drive belt to convert the mechanical energy from the crankshaft into electricity. If your alternator fails and stops charging the battery, you can struggle to keep your car moving. That’s why you should always book an alternator repair as soon as you notice a problem.

When Do I Need to Book an Alternator Repair?

You should book an alternator repair near you if you notice any of the following warning signs:

  • Your car is difficult or slow to start
  • You hear a whirring, whining or squealing noise from the engine
  • Your car's interior and exterior lights look dim, blink erratically, gradually fade, suddenly get brighter or don't come on at all
  • Your battery warning light comes on
  • Your speedometer stops working.
  • You can smell rubber burning.
  • Your car fails a multimeter test at a garage.

How Much Does an Alternator Cost in the UK?

Alternator Repairs cost between £100 and £700 in the UK. The average is between £150 to £300 and, while refurbished car alternators ar available, they don't offer that much of a saving.

What Causes the Need for a New Alternator?

Your alternator is a very durable component, but you can end up needing a replacement if either of the following happens:

  • The brush, a component which maintains constant electrical contact with the spinning alternator, becomes worn.
  • Your voltage regulator fails. This makes sure that the electrical charge is passed to the battery at the correct voltage.

Can I Fit a New Alternator Myself?

Yes, you can fit a new alternator yourself. However, you should not attempt the process unless you are experienced and know what you are doing. Not only can you cause extra damage to your vehicle, but a live battery can also give you a nasty shock if you don’t disconnect it properly.

To fit a new alternator yourself, you must follow this process:

  1. Disconnect the battery. You must disconnect the terminals in the right order and ensure it is completely disconnected before continuing.
  2. Disconnect the wires from the back of the alternator. Label the wires as you go so you can reconnect them all in the right place.
  3. Remove the belt from the pulley.
  4. Remove the bolts. These connect the alternator to the bracket. Once these are loose, you are then able to get the old alternator out of the car.
  5. Make sure you have the correct replacement alternator. The last thing you need is the wrong sized part.
  6. Reverse the removal steps to install the new alternator.

Enter Your Reg and Postcode to Compare and Save on an Alternator Repair Near You

If an alternator replacement sounds like too much hard work, enter your reg and postcode to find a garage near you to complete the work instead. You can filter by reviews, labour rate, distance or availability - whatever matters to you the most. Once you’ve compared deals and picked the most suitable garage, you can select your preferred date and time to complete the booking.

You never pay a penny until after your chosen garage has completed your alternator repairs and there are no hidden extras either. When you compare garages near you through BookMyGarage, you can save up to 70% vs booking an alternator replacement direct.

Enter Your Reg and Postcode to Compare Deals From Local Garages

How Long Does an Alternator Replacement Take?

On average, an alternator replacement takes between 1-2 hours. However, this can vary depending on what make and model of vehicle you drive.

How Long Does an Alternator Last?

If you look after your alternator by driving sensibly, it can last 8-12 years without needing any repairs. Book a car service regularly to keep your car in good condition and avoid putting unnecessary stress on your alternator.

About Subaru

Japanese firm Subaru’s heritage comes from the skies: the company developed out of the Nakajima Aircraft Company (1917-1945), which in its day was the largest aircraft manufacturer in Asia. In 1954 the company debuted its first automobile with the Subaru 500, Japan’s first mini, but Subaru’s story really started in 1972 with the launch of its symmetrical all wheel drive. It’s this factor above all which makes Subaru stand out from the crowd - 4x4 is standard on every car that Subaru sells in the UK (apart from the Justy city car).

Subaru currently sells seven models into the UK including the popular Outback, the original ‘crossover’ and a trusty and tough SUV. Other much loved models include the Forester, a slightly smaller SUV ideally suited to rural driving, and the Impreza - a rally champion turned practical family car.

Subaru owners display impressive brand loyalty, and for good reason. These cars are known for their longevity - it’s not unusual to see Foresters and Outbacks on the used car sales boards with over 200,000 miles on the clock. Part of the reason for this is Subaru’s unique flat-lying ‘boxer’ engines, with pistons which punch horizontally, like a boxer, rather than up and down as in a traditional engine. This means less vibration and friction, and better lubrication, particularly on start-up. In some ways, Subaru build cars which are seemingly almost indestructible! For safety and reliability across the board they consistently score very highly indeed with drivers and independent reviewers.

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