Friday, February 15, 2013

Nissan Maxima: How To Replace Alternator?

Alternator Replacement

Nissan Maxima 1993 to 1998 Alternator Replacing Procedure:

Many automotive parts stores have alternator bench testers available for use by customers. An alternator bench test is the most definite way to determine the condition of your alternator.So its advisable to first test and get confirmed that alternator is faulty.

Also there is way to test the Alternator.

How To Test Alternator?

The easiest way to test the performance of the alternator is to perform a regulated voltage test.

  • Start the engine and allow it to reach operating temperature.
  • Connect a voltmeter between the positive and negative terminals of the battery.
  • Voltage should be 14.1-14.7 volts.
  • If voltage is higher or lower than specification, connect a voltmeter between the battery positive (B+) voltage output terminal of the alternator and a good engine ground.
  • Voltage should be 14.1-14.7 volts.
  • If voltage is still out of specification, a problem exists in the alternator or voltage regulator.
  • If voltage is now within specification, a problem exists in the wiring to the battery or in the battery itself.
This testing will help you to confirm the alternator is working or not.
Once its confirmed that alternator is faulty, you can go for replacing it.

Follow the details below to replace Alternator:


See Figures 1 through 5
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable, for safety purposes.
  2. Remove the right side splash guard from under the vehicle.
  3. Disconnect the alternator lead wires and connections. Label them if you are unsure of their locations.
  4. Keep marker pen ready to mark the position of wire.This helps while reconnecting.
Fig. Fig. 1: The large positive lead connection is protected by a rubber boot

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. Fig. 2: Make sure the alternator ground wire is also removed
  1. Loosen the drive belt adjusting bolt and slip the belt off the pulley.
  2. Remove the lower adjustment bolt, followed by the upper pivot bolt.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. Fig. 3: Remove the lower adjustment bolt ...

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. Fig. 4: ... followed by the upper pivot bolt. Make sure you support the alternator
  1. Lower the alternator from the vehicle.
To install:
  1. Using a C-clamp and a socket, push the upper pivot bushing back in it's bore until it bottoms out.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. Fig. 5: Using a C-clamp to push in the pivot bushing will make installation easier
  1. Raise the alternator into the engine bracket, and push the upper pivot bolt all the way through the bracket to support it.
  2. Install the lower adjustment bolt, followed by the upper pivot nut.
  3. Place the belt on the alternator pulley, and tighten the belt.
  4. Tighten the upper and lower mounting bolts.
  5. Engage the alternator lead wires and connections.
  6. Connect the negative battery cable.
  7. Start the vehicle, and check for proper operation.
  8. Readjust the belt tension, if necessary. Install the lower splash guard.

Proper belt tension is important. A belt that is too tight may cause alternator bearing failure; one that is too loose will cause a gradual battery discharge and/or belt slippage, resulting in belt breakage from overheating.

Alternator Precautions

To prevent damage to the alternator and regulator, the following precautions should be taken when working with the electrical system:
Please go through it,before you replace alternator:

  • Never reverse the battery connections.
  • Booster batteries for starting must be connected properly: positive-to-positive and negative-to-ground.
  • Disconnect the battery cables before using a fast charger; the charger has a tendency to force current through the diodes in the opposite direction for which they were designed. This burns out the diodes.
  • Never use a fast charger as a booster for starting the vehicle.
  • Never disconnect the voltage regulator while the engine is running.
  • Avoid long soldering times when replacing diodes or transistors. Prolonged heat is damaging to AC generators.
  • Do not use test lamps of more than 12 volts for checking diode continuity.
  • Do not short across or ground any of the terminals on the AC generator.
  • The polarity of the battery, generator, and regulator must be matched and considered before making any electrical connections within the system.
  • Never operate the alternator on an open circuit. Make sure that all connections within the circuit are clean and tight.
  • Never disconnect the battery while the engine is running.
  • Disconnect the battery terminals when performing any service on the electrical system. This will eliminate the possibility of accidental reversal of polarity.
  • Disconnect the battery if arc welding is to be done on any part of the vehicle.