What’s the process of replacing a Toyota RAV4 Alternator?
Whenever your car is turned on it uses electrical power. From the stereo, to the lights and many other electrical components, they all rely on your battery for power. As a result, your battery needs to constantly recharge, otherwise your car won’t be able to keep running. Thankfully, there is a device called the alternator.
What does the alternator do?
The alternator is the component in your RAV4 that is responsible for charging your SUV’s battery. It charges your battery as the car runs by using the power that’s already there. When the alternator has a defect the battery might not get charged. As a result, you will not be able to start your car due to a dead battery. This happens because your battery has run out of juice.
How to tell if you have a defective alternator
You can usually tell if you have a defective alternator if you constantly have to get a jump start after you turn off your vehicle. The alternator is usually located in the engine compartment and whenever it malfunctions, the battery warning light will turn on. This is another way to verify the issue.
Have an expert take a look
If you’re still unsure and would like an expert opinion, you can bring your RAV4 into your local Toyota dealership. Our mechanics can inspect the entire charging system, test alternator output and then replace the alternator if they find any fault. After doing this, our mechanics test the alternator output again to make sure it functions properly.
Other common symptoms of a defective alternator
Some other signs that might not be as extreme as your car not starting include dim interior lights, battery warning light, and dim headlights. Once you notice any or all of these symptoms it is important to repair the alternator right away. You shouldn’t wait until you have a dead battery on your hands.
How the alternator replacement process works
Once all of the testing and verification have been completed and it’s determined that the alternator is the issue, it needs to be fixed. There are a lot of complicated steps involved but we’ll do our best to explain it for you. The first step is critical for working on the alternator and is performed in order to gain access to the alternator.
Disassembling the surrounding parts
The first step is to carefully remove the radiator assembly. Place that to the side and then remove the radiator itself. Next, remove the front wheel on the right hand side (the passenger side) to make room to work.
Remove the engine under the cover of the rear passenger side. Then the front suspension member on that side also needs to be removed. It’s very important to be gentle with these when removing them, otherwise you’ll end up having to buy more parts to replace.
Next, remove the radiator reservoir tank before removing the fennel and the generator V belt. It’s important to keep in mind that this part of the process can be long, so you’ll need to set aside a good amount of time to do it. Assuming you have all of the necessary tools and skills to use them, it generally takes an average of three and a half hours.
What is the cost of having a shop fix it?
The cost of the alternator replaced on the Toyota RAV4 will vary greatly based on where you live. Generally, 2 to 3 hours of labor is priced between $273 to $284. Then there is also the price of the alternator, which runs between $50 and $160. Adding those two up, you could end up with a cost between the low $300s and the low $500s.
What do you do now?
Your alternator is a very important part of your car. If you find something wrong with it, you need to replace it immediately. The work is hard, tedious and time consuming. That’s why we recommend taking it into you local Toyota dealer to get it fixed. If you don’t have the know how, you could cause permanent and serious damage to your RAV4.
Want to learn more about the other battery related problems? Ready to bring your SUV in for service? Contact our staff at Boch Toyota South for more information or to schedule a service appointment!
**Disclaimer – If you choose to follow the instructions in this post, you assume all responsibility for any outcome that may happen. We do NOT recommend working on your own vehicle.