How to Replace Alternator on Ford Focus LX

Updated February 21, 2017

The Ford Focus is a four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive car that replaced the Ford Escort in 2000. The Focus is still being manufactured as of 2010 and is available in several different trims, although all are mechanically identical. The Focus LX model was available from 2000 to 2004. The alternator on the Focus is run off of the accessory belt at the front of the engine. The alternator’s job is to keep the battery fully charged. If your battery is new and repeatedly goes dead, you may have a faulty alternator.

Open the bonnet. Loosen and remove the coolant tank bolts with a socket and ratchet in a counterclockwise direction. Move the coolant tank to the side to expose the alternator.

Pull the power steering pump reservoir at the front of the engine out of its spring-loaded bracket and place it to one side.

Loosen the tension on the serpentine drive belt at the front of the engine by placing the end of a 1/2-inch drive ratchet wrench into the square hole on the drive belt tensionor and rotate it counterclockwise. Slip the belt from the alternator pulley by hand then slowly release the ratchet wrench.

Remove the bolt from the alternator wiring harness with an adjustable wrench turned in a counterclockwise direction. Move the harness to the side.

Loosen and remove the alternator holding bolt closest to the engine with a socket and ratchet turned in a counterclockwise direction. Loosen the remaining alternator holding bolt but do not remove it from the alternator as of yet.

Pull the alternator out of the engine bay with the pulley facing upwards. Slide the remaining holding bolt from the alternator.

Install a new alternator in the reverse order.


Rather than moving the coolant tank and power steering reservoir, some owners prefer to remove their alternator by removing the bolts from the passenger side motor mount and using a large pry bar to move the engine ahead approximately one inch. This makes room for the removal and installation of the alternator. Once the alternator has been installed, replace the motor mount bolts.

Things You'll Need

  • Ratchet wrench, 3/8-inch drive
  • Metric socket set
  • Ratchet wrench, 1/2-inch drive
  • Adjustable wrench
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