How Much Does It Cost To Replace An Alternator?

How Much Does It Cost To Replace An Alternator?

If you’ve noticed your engine not starting or you have a dead battery, then your alternator might need replacing. Replacing an alternator can be expensive but is necessary in order to keep your car running safely and efficiently. 

Find out how much it costs to replace an alternator in the UK with average costs for labour and the parts with this handy guide. 

What does an alternator do in a car?

An alternator is an electrical device that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy in an internal combustion engine; they are typically found in cars, trucks and other vehicles. The alternator is powered by a belt connected to the car engine, creating an alternating current of electricity when it spins. The electricity from the alternating current is then used to charge the car's battery and power the car's electrical system.

car alternator

How much does an alternator cost in the UK

The average cost of a new alternator is between £50 and £200.

The cost to replace an alternator depends on the car model and make, then the labour cost to replace the alternator also depends on the car model and make, but it works out at, on average, £150 to £250 pounds for the mechanic's time.

Time-wise, alternator replacement times in a reputable garage should take between 1 hour to 2.5 hours with an average of just over 1 hour. Of course, again, this average depends on the car and there may be other factors that cause the repair to be delayed. 

Average alternator costs by car

To help give you an idea of average costs in the UK for alternators, we've rounded up different cost estimates for both economical and luxury vehicles.

Audi A3 alternator replacement cost: £400

BMW alternator replacement cost: £400-500

Fiat 500 alternator replacement cost: £275

Ford Focus alternator replacement cost: £350

Range Rover alternator replacement cost: £400

If you're worried about an expensive car repair bill, then Bumper could help. Split the cost with 0% interest monthly repayments.

Can I carry out the alternator replacement myself?

Whilst it is possible to replace an alternator yourself, it is a complicated job and requires specialist tools. That's why we'd always recommend leaving this task to a qualified mechanic.

You might save money on labour costs, but the risks don't outweigh the benefits. You need special tools for a start and then on top of all the expert mechanical knowledge needed, you might damage other components making it more expensive in the long run!

What are the symptoms of a failing alternator?

Symptoms of a failing alternator include:

  • Dim or flickering lights
  • Engine not starting or stalling regularly
  • Dead Battery
  • The smell of burning rubber or wires
  • Strange growling noises from the alternator
  • Battery warning light illuminated on the dashboard
  • Slow cranking when starting the car

If your car is experiencing any of the symptoms of a failing alternator then it is recommended to have your alternator checked by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.

Is it worth fixing the alternator?

The decision to repair or replace your alternator is one that needs careful consideration. Replacing an alternator can be expensive. However, if you are mechanically inclined and have the right tools, you may be able to save some money by replacing the alternator yourself, but please only attempt this if you are very experienced with cars.

On the other hand, if it’s a relatively new car with a complex electrical system then it may be better to leave it up to professionals. Ultimately, whether it is worth fixing your alternator really depends on how much money you have available and how comfortable you are tackling such a job yourself.

Can you drive with a faulty alternator?

We don't recommend driving a car with a faulty alternator as it can cause damage to other components and even lead to further damage to the engine due to lack of power.

A faulty alternator can cause a wide range of electrical issues within the car, which might not have caused such a problem thirty years ago, but these days, most cars rely on electricity and computer components to run smoothly. 

What’s more, a faulty alternator won’t be able to keep your car’s battery charged sufficiently, which can cause your fuel injectors to fail and your engine to stall.

Split the cost with Bumper

Here at Bumper, we know a hefty car repair bill for an alternator is the last thing you want to spend your money on, but essential parts such as shocks are crucial for you and your family’s safety. 

Look after your car and your bank balance by splitting the cost of repairs into monthly instalments, interest-free. 

Join the Bumper community and get access to the best care for you and your car. Choose a dependable dealership and split your repair bill into monthly chunks. 

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