How to Wire My Alternator to My Battery

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Automotive alternators supply the automotive electrical system with the electrical energy needed to operate an automobile. Without the alternator, an automobile can only operate on battery power for a few minutes.


One of the functions an alternator performs is to recharge the battery. To do this, an alternator must be connected in a parallel circuit to the battery.

Things You'll Need

  • Automobile
  • Automotive alternator with internal regulator circuit
  • Alternator-to-battery wire
  • Automotive battery
  • Automotive battery relay switch
  • Alternator ground wire
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Loosen and remove the alternator battery terminal retaining nut. Place the ring terminal on the alternator-to- battery wire over the alternator battery terminal bolt.

  • Replace the retaining nut. Tighten the nut to a snug fit. Route the alternator-to-battery wire around the automobile engine so that the wire does not come into physical contact with the engine housing.

  • Attach the free end of the alternator-to-battery wire to the "Alternator" terminal on the relay switch.

  • Loosen the retaining nut on the alternator ground terminal. Place the ring terminal on the alternator ground wire over the terminal, and replace the retaining nut. Tighten the nut to a snug fit.

  • Attach the alternator ground wire to a point on the vehicle chassis, such as the battery ground wire bolt.

Tips & Warnings

  • The connection process is different when the automotive electrical system connects to an external regulator system. The alternator wire that normally connects to the battery connects instead to the regulator.

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References

  • Photo Credit dead battery image by Katrina Miller from Fotolia.com
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