One of the best-selling city cars in the world, the Ford Ka has been in production since 1996. A small, compact vehicle that features nimble handling for cornering around tight spaces in city environments where the streets are too narrow for larger cars, the Ka has a number of components in common with other vehicles, such as the alternator. If you notice your headlights dimming or electrical components acting sluggish, chances are your alternator is going bad and will need to be replaced so it can keep your battery charged and the electrical current flowing through the engine.
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Things you need
- Vehicle owner's manual
- Socket set
- Wrench set
- Breaker bar ratchet
Refer to your owner's manual for the exact model of alternator you will need to replace. Alternatively, you may take the old alternator into a parts shop and have it order you a replacement based upon the previously installed alternator. Ensure that all the wiring harnesses and other components come included with the alternator kit.
Turn off the engine and raise the hood. Locate the old alternator by following the belt diagram for the serpentine belt on the hood of the Ka or on the radiator shroud cover. Refer to this diagram for the location of the automatic belt tensioner that will be used to loosen the belt attached to the alternator.
Locate the tensioner pulley and attach a socket and the breaker bar ratchet to the nut sticking out of the side of the pulley. Apply pressure in the direction indicated on the diagram chart (will vary between clockwise and counterclockwise, depending on the year and model of Ka) to loosen the tension and remove the serpentine belt. Slide the now-slack belt off the alternator pulley.
Disconnect the negative battery lead with a wrench or a socket (or pull them off by hand if they are the quick-release versions). Remove any accessories between you and the alternator with a socket and the ratchet or a wrench. In some versions of the Ka, you may have to remove the water pump and the air conditioning pump. Detach all wires from the alternator and set them aside for later use.
Loosen the mounting bolts holding the alternator in place with a wrench or the socket plus ratchet and remove the mounting bracket. Remove the old alternator from the engine and place the new one back onto the engine in the same fashion. Replace the mounting bolts and brackets. Attach all the wiring to the alternator and slide the serpentine belt back over the alternator pulley.
Replace any additional accessories you may have removed. Adjust the serpentine belt tensioner pulley and replace the belt. Connect the battery and start the engine. Let the car run for several minutes to ensure all the parts were installed correctly.
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