Disconnecting Alternator Electrical Connectors

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Need to fix your alternator? Learn how to unplug alternator electrical connectors with expert auto maintenance tips in this free car repair video.

Part of the Video Series: How to Change an Alternator
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Video Transcript

In this clip we are going to talk about the proper way to disconnect the vehicle's electrical connectors from the alternator. Okay, as you can see on the back of the alternator we have 3 connectors to deal with. We have this one here, this one here and this one here. This particular wire here is the feed which takes the output voltage generated by the alternator and runs it into the battery. It has this rubber boot on because that is a live connection. If you strike any kind of metal from here to a ground surface, you are going to throw sparks. What you do is throw the protective rubber boot off. That's going to expose the mounting bolts. These are almost always a locking style bolt for safety reasons and you want to make sure that that stays connected. It is one of the more potentially dangerous components on a car. There is enough juice put out by the alternator and stored in the battery to start a quite significant fire as it is allowed to go to ground without a load on it. Take our mounting nut off, like so. Almost always a locking style nut that requires the ratchet to take it off all the way. It is not one that you can really spin it off with your fingers. Get our battery eye off the stud. This wire right here is for the vehicle's charge indicator. If it has a gage, this is going to be the output to the gage. If it has just a failure light, it is going to light up the light on the dash if there is a problem. Go ahead and disconnect that guy, put him out of the way. This connector here, the vehicle's computer, it is the voltage regulator. As you are driving, the vehicle requires various amounts of voltage depending upon how many accessories are running. If you got the radiator running, the heater going, the headlights on, that puts more on demand on the vehicle's electrical system. That is going to take an increase of voltage supply to the electromagnetic field inside here which will create a larger voltage output. Full field is what they call maximum voltage and it is going to be around 14.1. Going ahead and take it and disconnect that. After your vehicle's electrical portion of the alternator assembly, once you get that out of the way, that portion is done.

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