Without an alternator, your Volkswagen Passat will not operate. Many people believe a car's battery operates the car's accessories, but it does not. The battery powers the ignition system so the car will start; but once it is running, the alternator takes over and powers everything. It also keeps the battery fully charged. If the alternator goes bad while you are driving, you have a short time before the accessories drain the battery and leave you sitting. Replace the alternator yourself instead of paying high labour rates at a repair shop. It will take you only about an hour to finish the job.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Socket set
- Wrench set
Disconnect the negative cable from the battery, using a wrench to loosen the terminal nut. The battery on the Passat is at the back of the engine.
Remove the electrical wires from the alternator, using a wrench to remove the nuts. Unplug the voltage regulator harness from the alternator. The alternator is on the driver's side of the engine.
Loosen the tension from the serpentine belt by loosening the belt tensioner with a wrench. Pull the belt off the alternator pulley. The belt tensioner is located at the top of the serpentine belt on the front of the engine.
Remove the alternator mounting bolts with a socket and ratchet. There are two bolts on the alternator. Pull the alternator out of the Passat.
Put the new alternator in the car and tighten the mounting bolts with the socket and ratchet. Place the serpentine belt back on the alternator pulley and tighten the tensioner with the wrench.
Plug the voltage regulator harness into the alternator. Connect the electrical wires and tighten the nuts with the wrench. Connect the battery terminal and tighten the nut with a wrench.
Tips and warnings
- Be sure to disconnect the battery as instructed in Step 1 or you will open yourself to risk of electrical shock.
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