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Expert Mechanics

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Want to learn more about Alternator repairs?

Read our short guide with information on costs, symptoms and more.

What does an alternator do?

The alternator is an electrical generator driven by a belt off the engine to charge the battery of the car. It is vital that the alternator works effectively, seeing that the battery provides electricity to a range of components.

What does an alternator replacement involve?

  • Mechanic will inspect the car's battery charging system.
  • Mechanic will inspect the alternator's ancillaries (drive belt, cables etc.)
  • Mechanic will test the voltage output of the alternator.
  • If necessary, the mechanic will replace the alternator.
  • Mechanic will advise if any other parts of the electric system need to be replaced.
  • Mechanic will test the charging system and will test drive the car.

Can I replace my alternator myself?

Unless you are a qualified mechanic with the required skills, training and equipment to do the job, we strongly recommend an alternator replacement is only carried out by a professional mechanic. ClickMechanic can help get you a vetted and local mechanic to carry out the work. Just enter your postcode and your car's registration number at the top of this page and select the work needed to get an instant fixed price up front.

What are the symptoms of a bad alternator?

  • When the battery warning light on the car's dashboard has lit up.
  • When the battery is not being recharged

How long does it take a mechanic to replace an alternator?

On average, alternator replacement times can range from 1 hour to 2.5 hours with an average of just over 1 hour. The time that the job takes will depend on a number of factors, like your vehicle's make and model, year, as well as other factors. Select your car at the top of this page for information on job time and cost for your vehicle through ClickMechanic.

How often should I replace an AC Condensor?

Generally alternators only need to be replaced if there is an issue with them. Should you experience any problems like those listed it is important to have the battery charging system inspected and, if necessary, have the alternator replaced.

As the demand for more and more electrical equipment and devices on modern vehicles increases, the demand on the alternator is increased. Therefore whilst the units themselves have improved dramatically in design and reliability, this is outweighed by the increased reliance on it. So, alternator replacement is a frequent repair on most vehicles at some point.

What are the signs of a bad alternator?

If the battery light remains on with the ignition (and does not go out once the charging is in operation), or comes on with the engine running then there is an issue with the alternator generating power and the battery will not be recharged. It is important to get a professional mechanic to check the issue as soon as possible.

How can I extend the lifetime of my alternator?

Because it is not possible to turn the alternator off and it will therefore always be turning when the engine is running, there is little you can do to prevent wear and tear. Obviously as an electrical device, they do not like water, so avoiding flooding is important!

Can you drive with a bad alternator?

If you have a bad alternator then technically your car will likely still drive, but it is advisable to get help from a professional mechanic before running the vehicle again. Not addressing issues with the alternator will lead to your battery not getting charged and a flat battery, ultimately leading to your vehicle not being able to start again.

Should you replace battery with alternator?

Whether you will need to replace the battery with the alternator ultimately depends on the battery's condition. If you're not sure if it needs replacing we'd recommend booking with a professional mechanic to check the issue and advise on next steps.

How long will a battery last with a bad alternator?

There are a number of factors that would determine how long a battery would last if the alternator is bad and not charging it correctly. Primarily it will depend on how much energy your car consumes and the condition of the battery.

Is a faulty alternator an MOT failure?

No, a car will not fail its MOT on an alternator issue itself. The alternator is not checked as part of the MOT, but a garage may flag it as something to address outside of an MOT to help ensure your vehicle will be able to charge its battery as intended.

Can a bad or faulty alternator affect a new battery?

A bad alternator can damage a new battery if the battery is not receiving the proper charging voltage. While it may not completely destroy it, a faulty alternator can cause a new battery to drain more quickly than it should.

Can a car work without an alternator?

It is possible for a car to run without an alternator, but it will not run for very long. It is likely that the battery will eventually die, and the car will eventually come to a halt.

Can an alternator fail suddenly?

Alternators can fail suddenly, but more often than not they will slowly lose their ability to charge the battery and eventually die. So even if it fails while driving, you may still be able to drive the car a few miles before the car comes to a complete stop.

How do I check if my car alternator is working properly?

The easiest way to check if your alternator is working is to start the car and let it idle. Then, turn on all of the car's accessories one at a time. If the car's battery dies while the accessories are on, then the alternator is not working.

Additionally, the battery should be tested for voltage. If the battery is low, the alternator may not be charging the battery. Depending on the electrical system, a voltmeter reading in the 13.8 to 15.3 volt range with the engine running, lights and accessories off, generally indicates that the alternator is working as it should be.

Can I jumpstart a car with a bad or faulty alternator?

If the battery is not dead, then yes, you can jumpstart a car with a bad alternator, but it will only run for a short period of time before the battery is drained again.

What happens when the car alternator fails while I am driving?

If your alternator dies while driving, your car will eventually lose power and come to a stop. You may notice the first signs of a dying alternator with dimmed interior lights and warning lights on the dashboard. The best thing to do in this case is find a safe place to stop and call for professional help.

How do I fix a bad alternator?

In most cases the alternator would be replaced if it bad or faulty. Alternators can be refurbished but often getting a new one fitted is more cost-effective. An alternator is an electrical component that is key to supplying power to your car so fixing it is a job best left to qualified technicians.

How much does an alternator replacement cost?

On average, a typical alternator repair costs £250, with prices ranging from £150 to £400. Ultimately, cost depends on your location, car and what parts your car's manufacturer recommends using for the replacement. Find out what you could save by having your alternator replaced by ClickMechanic by selecting your car at the top of this page!

Check out the ClickMechanic price for an alternator repair, and find out what you would pay at a franchise dealer. We use industry standard data & millions of data points so you know what you should be paying. These estimates may include Alternator. We have alternator repair prices for 57 different manufacturers.

Name ClickMechanic Click Mechanic average Franchise dealer estimate

Alfa Romeo

£350 £328 - £662 Get exact price

Audi

£404 £352 - £683 Get exact price

Austin

£205 £220 - £311 Get exact price

Bentley

£503 £526 - £803 Get exact price

BMW

£438 £402 - £768 Get exact price

Cadillac

£339 £361 - £534 Get exact price

Chevrolet

£323 £277 - £542 Get exact price

Chrysler

£471 £448 - £829 Get exact price

Citroen

£366 £335 - £647 Get exact price

Dacia

£301 £322 - £481 Get exact price

Daewoo

£289 £301 - £472 Get exact price

Daihatsu

£276 £231 - £473 Get exact price

Daimler

£357 £406 - £504 Get exact price

Dodge

£424 £407 - £758 Get exact price

DS

£332 £356 - £590 Get exact price

Fiat

£303 £294 - £544 Get exact price

Ford

£330 £326 - £548 Get exact price

Honda

£425 £386 - £754 Get exact price

Hyundai

£360 £352 - £621 Get exact price

Infiniti

£361 £502 - £502 Get exact price

Isuzu

£390 £450 - £583 Get exact price

Iveco

£371 £337 - £525 Get exact price

Jaguar

£421 £400 - £706 Get exact price

Jeep

£454 £400 - £769 Get exact price

Kia

£381 £346 - £656 Get exact price

Land Rover

£425 £424 - £709 Get exact price

LDV

£339 £341 - £531 Get exact price

Lexus

£457 £462 - £729 Get exact price

London Taxi's International

£263 £374 - £374 Get exact price

Lotus

£243 £317 - £350 Get exact price

Maserati

£611 £734 - £828 Get exact price

Mazda

£376 £323 - £599 Get exact price

Mercedes-Benz

£477 £431 - £846 Get exact price

MG

£280 £308 - £469 Get exact price

MINI

£393 £391 - £695 Get exact price

Mitsubishi

£351 £328 - £565 Get exact price

Mitsubishi Fuso

£220 £332 - £332 Get exact price

Nissan

£369 £335 - £664 Get exact price

Perodua

£268 £306 - £425 Get exact price

Peugeot

£376 £334 - £668 Get exact price

Peugeot Talbot

£269 £289 - £378 Get exact price

Piaggio

£229 £327 - £327 Get exact price

Porsche

£547 £518 - £872 Get exact price

Proton

£401 £265 - £710 Get exact price

Renault

£413 £384 - £766 Get exact price

Rover

£342 £327 - £744 Get exact price

Saab

£379 £387 - £617 Get exact price

SEAT

£324 £321 - £584 Get exact price

Skoda

£348 £330 - £614 Get exact price

Smart

£414 £383 - £727 Get exact price

Ssangyong

£558 £571 - £797 Get exact price

Subaru

£288 £249 - £510 Get exact price

Suzuki

£327 £343 - £535 Get exact price

Toyota

£347 £348 - £599 Get exact price

Vauxhall

£356 £343 - £628 Get exact price

Volkswagen

£373 £350 - £657 Get exact price

Volvo

£376 £350 - £576 Get exact price

Prices could not be created for 24 models. Show ∨

  • Microcar
  • Metrocab
  • Hummer
  • Reva
  • Asia
  • TVR
  • Ferrari
  • Morgan
  • Buick
  • Lamborghini
  • Pontiac
  • Carbodies
  • Moskvich
  • Ford US
  • Aixam
  • FSO
  • Maybach
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Santana
  • Tata
  • Great Wall
  • Aston Martin
  • Lada
  • Lancia

Estimates on repair costs, such as the above results for an alternator repair, are created by combining data from multiple third-party sources. The actual cost of using your local repair providers may be outside of the estimated range. We provide estimates on repair costs for information only and accept no liability for any inaccuracies or errors. If you think an estimate is incorrect, please contact us to let us know.

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Recent Alternator repair quotes

These recent quotes were taken from our quote engine which uses third-party industry standard data on repair times, along with a live parts retailer, and a regional labour rate to build an accurate free quote. We are constantly improving our quote engine, so please let us know if a price seems incorrect.

£166.34

Alternator replacement

Renault Clio
Horley
£248.91

Alternator replacement

Audi A4 Cabriolet
Pontypridd
£408.18

Alternator replacement

Mercedes-Benz M-Class
Wrexham
£229.16

Alternator replacement

Ford Fiesta
Milton Keynes