The alternator on your Saturn is a small generator that will take mechanical energy and convert it into electrical energy as an alternating current. It is responsible for charging the battery and keeping the power flowing throughout the car as long as the motor is running. If the alternator goes bad, the battery will be unable to hold a charge. This will result in a car that will not start.
If you need to replace the alternator in your Saturn, remember that you are working with the electrical system, so make sure you are careful.
- Breaker bar
- Replacement alternator
- Jack stands
- Lug wrench
- Socket wrench
- Park your vehicle on a flat, dry surface. You will be jacking up the vehicle.
- Take the negative battery cable off the battery and set it aside where it cannot come into contact with the negative terminal.
- Jack up the front end of the vehicle and place the front end solidly on jack stands. Remove the right side front wheel and fenderwell splash shield.
- If necessary, take the air intake off the vehicle. This may be needed on some models with a 4-cylinder engine. Disconnect the temperature sensor’s electrical connector and PVC hose. Next, loosen the clamp screws to the duct’s hose.
- Relieve the tension on the drivebelt in order to remove it. The breaker bar is the common tool used on a 4-cylinder engine in order to release the tension. Use the bar on the tensioner hold, and then turn counterclockwise. You can use a wrench on the tensioner center bolt on a V6. Then turn it clockwise. The drivebelt comes off when you remove the two bolts holding it in place.
- Remove the mounting bolts on the alternator and disconnect the electrical connector. You may need to pull the alternator out from the engine block in order to get the electrical connector off the alternator.
- Install the new alternator to the engine block.
- Reverse the order and reconnect all the disconnected parts. Put the wheel back on and drop the vehicle from the jack stands.
- Reconnect the battery. Your PCM will need to reset itself, so start the engine and let it run until it reaches normal operating temperature. Drive the vehicle at part throttle with moderate acceleration until you find that it is operating normally. Stop the vehicle and set your parking brake. Let the engine continue to idle while parked for two minutes.
If you find that you still have problems after you replace the alternator, you may need to contact your local dealership for assistance.