How to Change an Alternator on a Toyota Celica

Written by gregory crews
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How to Change an Alternator on a Toyota Celica
Disconnect your battery before replacing the alternator (dead battery image by Katrina Miller from

The Toyota Celica is a popular car among auto enthusiasts because of its sporty design and reliability. Like almost all cars, the Celica uses an alternator to convert the battery power to electric power the car can use. The alternator also recharges the battery so the battery will be able to supply the electrical power needed to start the car. Replacement of the alternator will ensure the Toyota cranks every time without having to worry about a jump start.

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Things you need

  • Socket wrench
  • Socket set
  • New alternator

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  1. 1

    Open the bonnet to access the engine compartment. Disconnect the battery by unbolting the cables with a socket wrench.

  2. 2

    Locate the alternator toward the top of the engine. Loosen the three bolts with a socket wrench. The bolt in the middle is the tensioner bolt. Loosen that bolt to loosen the belt.

  3. 3

    Remove the two remaining bolts. This will disconnect the alternator from the mounting brackets.

  4. 4

    Disconnect the wiring harness at the back of the alternator. The harness will unplug from the alternator. Unscrew the stud holding the negative lead in place with a socket wrench. Pull the wire off the stud.

  5. 5

    Pull the alternator out of the engine compartment. Place it in the box the new alternator was sold in.

  1. 1

    Position the new alternator on the mounting brackets. Start the two bolts. Do not tighten until the belt is tight.

  2. 2

    Place the belt over the pulley. Tighten the top bolt to tension the pulley with a socket wrench. Once the belt is tight, tighten the remaining two bolts.

  3. 3

    Plug in the wires to the back of the alternator. Loosen the stud bolt and place the negative lead on the stud. Tighten the stud nut with a socket wrench.

  4. 4

    Connect the battery cables to the terminals on the battery. Ensure the positive cable is secured on the terminal designated by a "+" symbol. Connect the negative cable to the remaining terminal.

  5. 5

    Start the car to ensure the alternator is functioning correctly. Allow the car to idle for 10 minutes. Turn the car off. Allow the car to sit for an hour. Attempt to start it. This will indicate the battery is holding a charge.

Tips and warnings

  • The process is the same on all the Toyota Celicas. This is based on the 1995 model. The only difference is the belt tensioner. Newer models after 2000 use a serpentine belt that tightens the belt automatically.
  • Enquire if there is a "core" deposit on the alternator when purchasing it. The "core" deposit is charged to the customer until the bad part is brought to the store.

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