How much does it cost to repair an alternator?Get a free quote now
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$40 - $900
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Most modern vehicles with a combustion engine come with an alternator. Contrary to popular belief, your car's electronics are powered by the alternator, not your car battery. The battery only starts the vehicle, but the alternator powers everything and recharges your battery while operating your car. Car alternator repair isn't as pricey as other major automotive repairs, as long as you address it immediately.
On average, alternator repair costs range from $400 to $900, including parts and labour. Replacing unsalvageable alternators with brand-new ones costs around $400 to $1,500.
Signs that an alternator needs repair
You don't need to be a car enthusiast to know when to replace or repair your alternator. If you suspect that something's wrong with your alternator, here's what you can look out for:
1. Difficulty in starting your car
You might first attribute this to your battery. But if your battery checks out and you still experience difficulty starting your car, it might be your alternator. Having a mechanic look at your vehicle is probably a good idea.
|See also: Mechanic Cost Guide
2. Flickering headlights
One of the signs of a faulty alternator is flickering headlights. A healthy, working alternator keeps your lights bright and steady. As you drive, you might notice your headlights grow brighter or dimmer depending on the speed of your vehicle.
3. Strange engine noises
Just like any moving component of your car, the alternator will make a strange noise if it's broken. A grinding sound might indicate a worn bearing, which means that your alternator will go bad soon. You might also hear whining sounds, which means a faulty voltage regulator.
4. Failing electronics
If you start to notice your electronics fail or work slower, it's time to get a quote for alternator repair and labour costs. Your failing alternator can manifest through slow-moving power windows and windshield wipers, as well as broken power locks and entertainment systems.
5. A weak or dead battery
If you start encountering battery issues, a light will appear on your dashboard. Try replacing the battery first. It might just be your battery aging normally. Remember that the alternator charges your battery. If you still encounter a weak or dead battery even after replacement, your car likely has a failing alternator.
|Learn more about: Car Battery Replacement Cost Guide
Alternator repair price list
How much does it cost to fix an alternator? It greatly depends on your location. We've gathered the estimated cost of fixing alternators for some big cities in Australia:
Average cost of alternator repair
$165 to $425
$400 to $900
$71 to $219
$40 to $300
$50 to $500
$100 to $600
Factors affecting alternator repair costs
Car make and model
Getting an alternator built specifically for your car's make and model is best. This ensures it can be mounted properly and handle all your existing electronics. Expect higher alternator replacement costs for more expensive car brands or models.
Alternators with the standard electrical capacity to power your vehicle will generally cost less than those with higher electrical capacity. High-capacity alternators are used only for cars that have been modified with more sophisticated, energy-consuming electronics.
Alternator mounting style
The location of your car's alternator under the hood will affect alternator repair labour costs. Mechanics usually need to disassemble some parts of your engine to be able to reach your alternator. Some alternators are easier to get to than others and generally cost you less on labour.
Sometimes, an alternator only requires minor repairs instead of a replacement. However, some parts are easier to source than others. Hard-to-find parts would need to be shipped, increasing the cost of fixing your alternator. For instance, alternator belt repair costs are quite low. But if parts are scarce, your mechanic will suggest replacing your alternator altogether.
Post a task for alternator repair
If you start noticing any of the signs of a faulty alternator, log on to Airtasker today to find an experienced mechanic and inquire about your area's average alternator repair cost. Thanks to Airtasker's straightforward and dependable rating system, you'll be able to find a professional car service nearby to help you with your car troubles.
All you need to do is post a task, wait for offers from our Taskers, and accept the one that fits your schedule and budget. Be sure to indicate your car's make and model and the issues you'd like your Tasker to check.
Once you've accepted an offer, conveniently wait for your Tasker to arrive and get the job done on your agreed-upon schedule. It's that easy!
Find alternator repair experts, fastPost a task
Generally, fixing an alternator is less expensive than replacing it, as long as parts are readily available and there’s little to no damage to the alternator’s components. Local auto stores might even have alternator repair kits. Sometimes, replacing an alternator can help you save more in the long run.
Yes, you can still drive with a bad alternator. But you might need to jump-start your car each time and charge your battery externally through other means. Note that you could end up with a dead battery and eventually damage your electronics.
You’ll be able to drive for another 30 minutes, give or take, on a bad alternator and a fully charged battery. This should give you enough time to park your car in a safe space and ask a Tasker or mechanic for help.
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