Things to Know About Alternator Replacement - Subaru Service Questions in Salt Lake City, UT

The alternator in your vehicle is a common part that will need to be replaced once it wears out. In our authorized Subaru service center at Nate Wade, we've found that our best customers are those who understand a little about the maintenance, service, and repair of their Subaru. It's why we've put together pages like this one looking at five things we think are important to know about Subaru alternator repair and service. Whether you're a seasoned Saturday mechanic or just gaining some confidence that you really can save some money by taking care of basic car maintenance and service yourself.

It's also easy to simply let the experts take care of your Subaru when you swing by our Subaru service center in Salt Lake City. Did you know that letting our factory-certified technicians take care of your vehicle is often more affordable than independent and franchise mechanic shops? Give us a call to learn more, schedule an appointment online, or simply swing by our Service Center at 1207 South Main St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111.

Car Alternator on white background

5. What Does the Alternator In Your Subaru Do?

As you might imagine, modern cars need a fair amount of electricity to run everything from the radio to the engine control computer and much more. While the battery is great at starting the car, it's not suitable to run all the electronics. That's where the alternator comes in. It was first known as a car's generator, which is fitting as this is the part that generates electricity for your vehicle. Most car alternators generate this electricity through small, wearable parts called brushes. Over many miles, these brushes tend to wear out.

The most common symptom of a bad alternator is that the car just won't start. That's because another important job of the alternator is to keep the battery charged. And, you probably know what it means to have a dead battery. This is where things can get a little tricky. How do you know if it's just a dead battery or if the alternator is to blame? If you're handy with a voltmeter, you might be able to jump the car and find out. However, when dealing with a car's electrical charging system, we recommend just letting the experts handle it. Once it's been determined that your vehicle is having problems with the alternator, you're likely left with a couple choices: get a new one or repair the alternator you have.

Mechanic using torque wrench to reinstall an idler pully

4. New Car Alternator vs Rebuilt Alternator

We tip our hat to the tinkerers out there and rebuilding an alternator can be a fun and satisfying project. Swing by our parts department where one of our Subaru parts experts can help you get the right alternator repair kit for the job. Of course, rebuilding an alternator is typically quite time consuming and not necessarily an easy thing to do. What that usually means when our certified technicians are addressing a bad alternator is that it's easier and more efficient to simply replace the bad alternator. In some cases, this means a new alternator is the best or only option. However, remanufactured alternators are often available at a more affordable price. That's because car alternators are a common enough maintenance item that the remanufacturing process has been made quick and efficient in dedicated facilities. 

3. Not Every Remanufactured Part Is The Same

We just can't stress enough that the quality of the parts on your vehicle make a big difference in the reliability and longevity of your vehicle. Sure, for most Subaru models that have been around for years, you can find a remanufactured alternator at your local red or blue parts store. Or you could swing by our dealership parts center. Our prices are more competitive than you might expect, and you'll get a factor-approved part that comes with a warranty. Once you try to install that one you got from the box store, it's yours. The difference is something we've seen often, and we hate charging someone to fix a substandard part. It's an expense that we could have helped them avoid.

Jumper cables attached to car battery

2. So, You're Looking To Replace Your Own Alternator

It can be exciting and even a little nerve wracking to dive into a new service project, but that's how we all began and where much learning happens. We'd like to offer a few pieces of advice if you're looking to perform your own Subaru alternator repair or replacement.

  1. Disconnect Your Car Battery
  2. Ensure The Vehicle Is Secure & Can't Move
  3. Never Get Under A Car Only Held Up By A Jack
  4. If You're Not Sure, Don't Do It

1. Trust Our Dealership Experts At Nate Wade Subaru

Subaru has long been among the most advanced, reliable, and safe vehicles on the road. It's because they're brought to us via some of the world's most advanced engineering and technology. The simple fact of the matter is that fixing a modern Subaru just isn't like swapping out the plugs on your dad's 40-year old American car. We want everyone to enjoy the award-winning low cost of Subaru ownership, and that's why we only staff our Subaru service center with the best factory-trained technicians in the business. The result is quality you can count on and a level of convenience that may just surprise you.

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Nate Wade Subaru: A Ken Garff Retailer

1207 S Main St
Directions Salt Lake City, UT 84111

  • Sales: 801-656-6870
  • Service: 801-656-6730
  • Parts: 801-656-6740
  1. Nate Wade Subaru

    1207 South Main
    Salt Lake City, UT 84111

    • Sales: (888) 586-8323

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