Saturn SW1 Alternator Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

Alternator Replacement
The average cost for a Saturn SW1 alternator replacement is between $452 and $483. Labor costs are estimated between $114 and $145 while parts are priced at $338. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
Note about price: This service is typically done as part of a bigger, more expensive repair, so the estimate you see above may not represent your total cost. Some of these bigger related repairs are listed in the table below. Talk with a RepairPal Certified shop to learn which repairs may be right for you.
Alternator Replacement

What is an alternator?

The battery gives your car the charge it needs to get started, but it has a finite amount of storage. This creates the need for a built-in battery charger — that's where the alternator comes in.

The alternator charges the battery and powers the vehicle's electrical system when the engine is running. It provides power to the starter motor, lights, stereo and more.

How does the alternator work?

The alternator is mounted on the engine, and creates power when it's turned by the serpentine belt or drive belt. As it spins, it creates electricity, and the built-in voltage regulator and rectifier are responsible for ensuring the current is correct for the vehicle.

The alternator produces an alternating current (AC), which is changed to usable direct current (DC) by the rectifier diodes within the alternator. 

What are the symptoms related to a bad alternator?

If the alternator fails, the dashboard battery warning light will turn on while you drive. Soon after, all electrical components will begin to lose power, the vehicle will stall, and a jump start won't work. If the alternator's bearing fails, it can cause a grinding noise that changes with engine speed.

» More symptoms of a bad alternator

Can I drive with an alternator problem?

A vehicle with a weak alternator can be driven to a repair shop, but if the alternator has completely failed, the car will need to be towed.

How often do alternators need to be replaced?

Alternator failure is fairly common, but an alternator can last well over 100,000 miles without incident. Harsh driving conditions and custom power accessories can shorten the life of an alternator.