How to Change the Alternator on a '99 Cavalier

by Arthur Heberger Google

    If the alternator on your 1999 Chevy Cavalier with 2.2 liter engine won't charge your battery, it won't be long until there is not enough voltage to keep your vehicle running. In fact, with daytime running lights and air conditioning on, your battery will lack the necessary voltage to operate the ignition system in less than an hour. If the alternator is overcharging the battery, it could swell to the point where it leaks through the vents or even cracks the casing. Some Cavaliers have a light on the dashboard to let you know if there's a problem, others come equipped with a voltage gauge. The gauge should read between 14.0 and 14.7 volts when the vehicle is running with all accessories off.

    Items you will need

    • Clean rags
    • Memory saver
    • Combination wrenches
    • Belt tensioner tool
    • Ratchet
    • 8 inch extension
    • Sockets
    • Torque wrench
    Step 1

    Install a memory saver by following the directions that came with it. Remove the negative battery cable using a combination wrench.

    Step 2

    Rotate the belt tensioner pulley clockwise with a tensioner tool to loosen the drive belt. (If you don't have a tensioner tool, you can use the box end of a 15mm combination wrench -- just watch your fingers.) Remove the belt from the alternator pulley. Slowly release the tension on the pulley.

    Step 3

    Disconnect the harness connector from the alternator by prying up on the clip with your finger and pulling the connector straight out. Pull back the cover over the wire on the back of alternator and remove the wire by holding the stud with the open end of a combination wrench and removing the nut with a socket and ratchet.

    Step 4

    Remove the upper mounting bolt using a ratchet and socket. Remove the rear lower mounting bolt using a ratchet, extension and socket. Remove the front lower mounting bolt. Remove the alternator from the bracket.

    Step 5

    Line up the replacement alternator with the three mounting holes in the bracket. Hand thread the three bolts to ensure proper alignment before tightening. Tighten the bolts to 17 foot-pounds with a torque wrench.

    Step 6

    Install the wire on the back of the alternator, tighten the nut and push the cover back in place. Line up the harness connector and push it in until you hear the clip snap in place.

    Step 7

    Rotate the tensioner pulley and install the drive belt on the alternator pulley. If the belt fell off any of the pulleys during removal or installation, check the diagram under the hood for proper routing. Slowly release the tensioner pulley and check that the belt is seated properly on all pulleys. Install the negative battery cable and remove the memory saver.