Alternator Replacement Cost Guide for Any Car in 2024

Alternator Repair and Replacement Costs

Is your car showing signs of alternator failure? Are you wondering, how much does it cost to replace an alternator these days? This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about alternator replacement costs so you can make an informed decision.

The average alternator replacement cost in 2023 is $350 and $400 for parts and labor, with prices ranging from as low as $511–$661 up to $127–$161 depending on the make, model and type of replacement alternator.

Below we’ll explore what impacts alternator repair and replacement costs, when you should choose repair vs replacement, DIY vs shop installation, and tips for controlling costs. Read on for a full breakdown.

Why Might Your Alternator Need Replacing

Before diving into the costs, let’s overview why your car’s alternator may be failing in the first place. Some common causes include:

  • Worn brushes – The brushes inside the alternator that transmit power to the rotor wear out over time. This reduces alternator output.
  • Failed diodes – Diodes convert the alternator’s AC current to DC to recharge the battery. When they fail, the electrical system suffers.
  • Broken rotor – If the main rotor shaft inside the alternator breaks, the alternator will stop generating electricity altogether.
  • Bad bearings – Worn or damaged bearings cause the pulley system to not spin smoothly, resulting in belt slippage and low/no charging.

Signs of a bad alternator can include:

  • Difficulty starting your car
  • Dim or flickering headlights
  • Battery warning light turning on
  • Dead battery after a short drive
  • Unusual noises from a failing pulley bearing

Driving with a faulty alternator is never recommended. At best it will leave you stranded when the battery dies. At worst it can damage connected electronics like onboard computers.

Catching alternator problems early allows for less expensive repair options. But once reaching total failure, full replacement is typically required.

Alternator Repair Costs vs Replacement

Once you’ve diagnosed alternator issues, the next question becomes whether to repair or fully replace the unit. Here’s an overview of factors to consider:

Repair Costs

  • Parts – $350 and $400
  • Labor – 2-3 hours ($120- $200)
  • Total – As little as $747 to $842

Replacement Cost

  • Parts – Remanufactured units from $225 to $475.
  • Labor – 2-4 hours ( $120- $200)
  • Total – Approximately $638 and $821 on average

As you can see, there is significant overlap in costs. Generally,Choose repair if issues are limited to worn brushes or a single bad bearing. If the diode rectifiers, rotor or stator windings have failed, the expertise and parts needed for DIY repair make replacement a better value.

Keep reading for a detailed cost breakdown of what impacts total bills for new alternator installation.

What Affects Alternator Replacement Cost

There are several factors that determine how much you will pay “out the door” to have your failing alternator replaced with a new one:

Alternator Part Type & Costs

  • New OEM – $100 and $400, not including installation. 
  • New Aftermarket – $350−$900
  • Remanufactured -$225 to $475 expect to pay around $700 for a new unit.
  • Rebuilt – $225 to $475.

The make, model, and age of the vehicle determines the baseline parts cost. Then condition, unit testing, warranty coverage, rebuilder reputation, and more impact pricing. High-output heavy-duty units also cost more.

Labor Time & Shop Fees

Expect to pay $127 and $161 per hour for repair shop labor. Simple, easy-to-reach alternators may only take 1-2 hours to replace. More complex jobs can require 4 hours or more, and additional fees if other parts need removal first.

Labor time is based on:

  • Vehicle make/model
  • Ease of access to the alternator
  • Need to remove other parts first
  • Extra repairs being done simultaneously

Call around to a few shops to compare labor rates and time estimates.

Vehicle Make, Model, & Location

Alternator replacement costs also vary across vehicle makes, models, and locations:

Vehicle Make/ModelAvg Cost (Parts & Labor)
Toyota Camry$440-$643
Honda Accord$587-$759.
Ford F-150$658-$730
Chevy Silverado$568-$689

Luxury cars and work trucks tend to cost more due to pricing of original parts. Costs also tend to run higher in metro areas than rural regions based on shop labor rates.

Choosing Remanufactured vs New Alternators

We mentioned remanufactured and rebuilt replacement alternators previously as lower-cost alternatives to new. Here’s an overview:


  • Fully disassembled and rebuilt with new internal components
  • Testing ensures like-new performance
  • 1-3 years warranty coverage
  • Costs ~25% less than new


  • Basic repairs and reused parts if still functional
  • Minimum of bench testing only
  • Lower cost but less reliable
  • at least a one-year warranty

While you save money upfront with a rebuilt unit, remanufactured alternators provide better reliability and longer warranty protection. This makes them the best value for most drivers given they cost far less than new while still delivering years of trouble-free operation.

Additional Repairs & Services

When replacing your alternator, shops will also commonly recommend:

  • New Serpentine Belt – Only ~$109 and $134 for preventative maintenance
  • Battery Testing/Replacement – A weak battery can fail soon after due to the old bad alternator
  • Inspection & Repair of Connected Systems – For example, if the AC compressor seized leading to the initial alternator failure

Building these add-on services into an alternator replacement quote is common. While not mandatory, they provide preventative maintenance and prevent a future repeat failure.

Can I Replace an Alternator Myself?

With the right mechanical skill and tools, DIY alternator replacement is possible on many vehicles. Here is what’s involved:

  • Difficulty Level – Intermediate to Advanced. Multi-hour job.
  • Tools Needed – Common hand tools, volt meter, torque wrench, pry bar, replacement components, shop manual for specifications
  • Cost – Can save 50%+ on labor costs, but requires specialty tools

Be methodical when self-servicing to avoid electrical or mechanical damage. And know when you’re in over your head rather than getting stranded with a half-disassembled vehicle!

Buying a New Alternator

When you’ve chosen to purchase a new replacement alternator, either for DIY or shop installation, here are good sources:

Online Auto Parts Retailers

  • RockAuto – Large selection, warehouse pricing
  • AutoZone – Convenient local parts store pickup
  • Amazon – Fast shipping with Prime eligibility
  • eBay – New and used units available

Check product listings closely when comparing options for fitment, warranty coverage, shipping costs and sourcing reliability.

Car Dealership Parts Departments

Dealerships offer 100% guaranteed fitment using OEM factory parts. But you’ll pay a premium of $350−$900 aftermarket pricing in most cases. Accompanying vehicle-specific service bulletins can provide helpful installation instructions.

Local Parts Stores

Stores like O’Reilly Auto Parts or NAPA Auto Parts offer decent availability of daily driver alternators. Costs land in the middle between online discount retailers and dealers. Same or next day pickup allows starting repairs right away.

In Conclusion

Replacing a failing alternator is an intermediate level DIY task or standard shop repair. On average for 2023, parts and labor run approximately $350 – $900  depending on:

  • Vehicle make and model
  • Remanufactured, rebuilt or new alternator selected
  • Additional repairs needed
  • Your location

Pay attention for signs of alternator failure. Catching issues early allows lower-cost repair options. But total electrical failure necessitates full replacement.

Use this guide to better understand replacement costs. Then assess your willingness for DIY or shop installation. With the right parts and process, your vehicle will be back on the road reliably charging in no time.

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