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Ford F150 Alternator Problems & Replacement Cost

Common Ford F150 alternator problems include failure to charge the battery, overcharging, worn-out bearings, and damaged wiring. The average alternator replacement cost varies between $495 and $970, including $420 to $780 for parts and $75 to $190 for labor.

A bad alternator can be a serious issue for your Ford F150, and the car may even stop running. Hence, you should take the necessary actions to fix the issue ASAP.

But first, let’s talk about what problems may occur. I will also detail the alternator replacement cost to give you an idea of how much it may cost you. Let’s go!

What Does A Bad Ford F150 Alternator Mean?

An alternator uses chemical energy to generate electrical power to recharge the battery and help run other electrical components in the truck.

When the alternator in a Ford F150 goes bad, it means the component is not functioning properly or completely failed and is no longer producing the necessary electrical power.

4 Common Ford F150 Alternator Problems

Various problems can occur with the alternator in your Ford F150. Driving your truck with a bad alternator will put all the electrical components, such as the power steering or water pump, at risk of damage.

Hence, you should instantly take the necessary action to fix the problem. But for that, you will need to know what problems you may face with the alternator, what is causing them, and what symptoms to look for to identify the issue.

Let’s have a detailed discussion:

Problem 1: Fails to Charge

The alternator plays a key role in charging the truck’s battery, and when it goes bad, it will fail to charge. It will result in power loss, and the engine may turn off soon.

  • Causes: A completely blown-out alternator can cause this problem. Besides, if the alternator’s voltage regulator turns bad, it can also prevent the battery from charging.
  • Symptoms: A malfunctioning alternator could be to blame if you consistently receive a low battery warning or if your Ford F150’s battery suddenly dies. Besides, the headlights will also start dimming due to a low battery.
  • Recommended Solutions: Inspect the alternator and the voltage regulator. Then replace the faulty parts to fix the problem.

Problem 2: Overcharging

The alternator may also sometimes overcharge the battery. If it fails to detect how much charge is necessary or when the battery is full, it will overcharge and lead to permanent battery damage.

  • Causes: It mainly happens when the voltage regulator on the alternator goes bad. The regulator controls the power distribution from the alternator, and a faulty regulator will cause overcharging. It may also wrongly distribute the power to other electrical components and cause more problems.
  • Symptoms: If the battery starts getting weaker or drains fast, then it can be a faulty voltage regulator on the alternator. Besides, other electrical components may burn out, and you will get a burning smell.
  • Recommended Solutions: Only changing the voltage regulator should fix the issue. But you should also check the alternator and the battery to ensure everything is working properly.

Problem 3: Worn-Out Bearings

The alternator in the Ford F150 has two bearings that can wear out over time. When the bearing goes bad, it can interrupt the alternator’s function.

  • Causes: It mostly happens due to aging. Besides, if you drive too often or put too much pressure on the engine, the bearings can wear out earlier than expected. Lastly, if you do not lubricate them regularly, then they can wear out quickly.
  • Symptoms: The common symptom of worn alternator bearing is whining, grinding, or squealing noises from the alternator while the engine is running.
  • Recommended Solutions: If you are not lubricating the bearings regularly, try lubricating them to see if it fixes the issue. If not, then you will need to replace the bearings in the alternator.

Problem 4: Damaged Wiring

Various wires connect the alternator to other components. These wires can get damaged and prevent the alternator from working properly.

  • Causes: The wires can get corroded or frayed and become obsolete. Besides, there can also be some loose connections leading to this problem.
  • Symptoms: The battery will not charge properly due to faulty wires. There can also be some sporadic electrical problems.
  • Recommended Solutions: Check for any loose connections and fix them. If any frayed or corroded wires are in the alternator, replace them with new ones.

Read This Blog Post: AC Compressor Replacement Cost of Ford F150

Ford F150 Alternator Replacement Cost

The average Ford F150 alternator replacement cost varies between $495 to $970. It includes the parts cost of $420 to $780 and the labor cost of $75 to $190.

Although the labor cost is not too expensive, you can save that money if you replace the alternator. You can watch this video to learn how to replace the alternator in a Ford F150.

ParticularsCost
Parts$420-$780
Labor$75-$190
Total$495-$970
Average$733

However, the actual replacement cost can be higher or lower, depending on the severity of the problem and various other factors.

Let’s briefly look at the factor that influences the F150 alternator replacement cost:

Factor 1: Parts Cost

Depending on whether you need to replace the alternator or connecting parts, the cost of the parts will vary. An alternator for a Ford F150 usually costs between $90 to $475.

But if the alternator is fine and only the voltage regulator is dead, then you will only need the regulator, which costs $45 to $125.

However, if the faulty alternator affects the battery and the battery is dead, you will need a new battery, which will also cost $150 to $250 on average.

PartsPrice
Alternator$90-$475
Alternator Adapter Plug$25-$90
Alternator Pulley$80-$155
Alternator Coupler$140-$270
Alternator Decoupler Pulley$85-$165
Battery$150-$250
Battery Cables$5-$80
Wires$5-$100
Voltage Regulator$45-$125

Factor 2: Alternator Brands

Various brands sell aftermarket alternators, and they have different price ranges. For a Ford F150, Duralast alternators typically cost between $205 and $360.

The price range for motorcraft alternators for the Ford F150 is $329 to $581, which is quite high. They are expensive because they provide high quality and are well-liked in the market.

There are some other brands that are also worth checking out.

Alternator BrandPrice
Duralast$205-$360
Motorcraft$329-$581
Bosch$325-$475
API$170-$235
Remy$92-$292
BBB Industries$113-$305
Pure Energy$245-$350

Factor 3: Ford F150 Generations

The generations of the Ford F150 also play a crucial role in determining the alternator replacement cost. Although the difference is not massive, you still can repair the problem with less cost if you have an earlier generation.

For instance, the labor cost for the 9th generation (2021-Present) Ford F150 varies from $105 to $190, whereas it costs only $80 to $170 for the 5th generation (1997-2003). The parts costs are $450 to $780 and $420 to $740, respectively.

Generation (Year)Average Alternator Replacement Cost
Labor CostParts Cost
9th (2021-Present)$105-$190$450-$780
8th (2015-20)$100-$185$440-$770
7th (2009-14)$95-$175$435-$750
6th (2004-08)$90-$175$425-$745
5th (1997-2003)$80-$170$420-$740
4th (1992-96)$75-$165$420-$730

Factor 4: US States Automotive Repair Cost

The automotive repair cost also varies in different US states due to parts availability and different labor rates.

For instance, in New Jersey, the average Ford F150 alternator replacement cost is $590 to $990 on average, but it is only $475 to $850 in Florida.

StatesAverage cost
New Jersey$590-$990
California$575-$980
North Carolina$550-$960
Florida$530-$950
Washington$525-$945
New York$510-$915
Texas$505-$900
Illinois$500-$870
Florida$475-$850

Note: These alternator replacement costs are rough estimations. The actual cost will vary depending on the problem’s severity and where you repair it.

FAQs:

How to test a bad alternator?

You can use a multimeter to test the alternator in a Ford F150. Run the engine and connect the multimeter to the battery. The reading should be around 13.2 to 14.5. Then turn on the lights and other accessories. If the voltage drops significantly, then the alternator is bad.

How long does an alternator typically last in a Ford F-150?

An alternator in a Ford F150 can last 75,000 to 150,000 miles or around 5 to 10 years on average. But alternator failures are pretty common, and they can get damaged out of nowhere.

Can I replace the alternator myself, or is it recommended to visit a mechanic?

Unless you have good automotive repair knowledge, you should go to a mechanic to replace the alternator. That’s because the alternator is connected to several electrical components and can damage them if you make any mistakes.

Does an alternator affect car performance?

Yes. The alternator powers the battery and other electrical components within the car. If the alternator goes bad, those components will not receive enough power, which will affect the car’s performance.

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