How to paint alternator

How To Paint Alternator

Painting the alternator is crucial to protect it from rust and ensure optimal performance. So, to paint the alternator, you should exactly know how to paint alternator.

To paint an alternator, start by disconnecting the negative battery terminal and removing the alternator from the vehicle. Clean the alternator, cover electrical connectors, apply a primer coat, followed by multiple thin coats of paint, and finish with a clear coat.

In this article, I will explain how I painted the alternator without disassembling it. So, let’s dive into the topic of how to paint alternator.

What Are the Components of The Alternator?

Two alternators on a table

Here are the main components of the alternator.

RotorThe rotating part of the alternator
StatorThe stationary part that houses the windings
Diode BridgeConverts alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC)
Voltage RegulatorOutput voltage of the alternator is controlled by the voltage regulator.
PulleyConnects the alternator to the engine via a belt

Why Should We Paint the Alternator?

The alternator is a crucial component of the vehicle, and its duty is to provide electricity to the electric components and charge the battery of the vehicle. So we should maintain the alternator properly. We can prevent the rusting by painting the alternator.

So, what happens if we do not maintain the alternator properly? The alternator will start malfunctioning due to the rust.

Effects of a Bad Alternator

Here are the effects of a malfunctioning alternator:

Flickering Head Lights

Flickering headlights of a car

This is the main sign of a bad alternator. As I said before, the alternator’s duty is to supply power to the electrical components of the vehicle. So, if it malfunctions, it becomes unable to supply enough power to the components. You can experience dimming or flickering headlights, interior lights, and dashboard lights due to this.

You can bench test the alternator to check whether it generates the correct amount of current or not.

Other Electrical Problems

As the alternator supplies power to the various other electrical components, they all start to malfunction due to a bad alternator. You will notice unresponsive shutters, radio, air conditioning system, and heating system.

Battery Issues

The alternator charges the battery. When the alternator malfunctions, it can’t charge the battery properly. This results in frequent battery replacements.

Stalling and Difficulty Starting the Engine

As I said before, the alternator charges the battery. Then what happens if battery power is low? You know it is difficult to start the car. The vehicle will also stall. This happens because the battery alone cannot supply the necessary electrical power to keep the engine running.

What Are the Signs of a Bad Alternator?

If your alternator malfunctions badly, you can experience the following signs.

Strange Noises

A failing alternator produces unusual sounds such as grinding, whining, or growling. These noises mainly indicate a problem with the alternator bearings or the pulley.

Burning Smell

A burning odor can be noticed due to an overheating alternator. Overheating happens as a result of excessive electrical resistance and faulty diodes.

Other than them, you will see the dashboard battery warning light illuminate.

Prevention is better than cure. We can protect the alternator and use it for a very long time with proper maintenance. Painting is the main way to protect the alternator from rust. For paint, we should know how to paint alternator.

How To Paint Alternator?

Let’s move on to our topic: how to paint alternator. I will explain how I painted the alternator as a step-by-step guide.

Tools needed:

  • Alternator cleaning solution
  • Sandpapers
  • Primer
  • Automotive-grade spray paint
  • Clear coat
  • Painter’s tape
  • Newspaper
  • Safety goggles
  • Respirator mask
  • Gloves
  • Clean rags

Step 1: Get the Alternator Out of The Vehicle

First things first. I wore safety goggles, a respirator mask, and gloves.

I disconnected the negative battery terminal and unplugged the alternator wires from the wiring.

Then I removed the alternator from the vehicle and placed it on the newspaper which was on the floor.

Step 2: Clean the Alternator

I thoroughly cleaned the alternator using the cleaning solution and a rag.

Next, I gently sanded the surface of the alternator using medium-grip sandpaper and wiped away dust residue using a rag.

Step 3: Cover the Electrical Connectors

I covered the electrical connectors and other places that don’t require paint. I covered them with tape.

Step 4: Apply the Primer Coat

I applied a thin and even coat, using a sweeping motion from one side to the other while slightly overlapping each pass. I applied multiple thin coats of paint after allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.

Tip: Hold the primer can 6 to 8 inches away from the alternator.

Step 5: Apply the Clear Coat

After waiting 2 hours to let the complete paint dry, I applied the clear coat. I waited 24 hours to let the clear coat dry.

Step 6: Reinstall the Alternator

I reinstalled the alternator in the vehicle and secured it using the blots. Finally, I connected the power supply to the alternator and connected the negative battery terminal.


How many alternators does a 6.4 power stroke have?

In 2008, Ford Super Duty trucks received the 6.4L Power Stroke V-8 diesel engine. The 6.4 power stroke has two 320-amp high output alternators.

Can you wash the alternator?

Yes, you can wash the alternator. It is technically safe. But make sure it is 100% dry when you supply power to the alternator.

Can a bad ground kill an alternator?

Yes, a bad ground connection results in alternator failure and low charging performance. Moreover, the battery may drain more quickly and eventually die when a loose ground wire prevents the alternator from providing enough charge.

What can cause an alternator to burn out?

Heat buildup that is too great leads to alternator burnout. There are typically a few factors to consider when an alternator burns out. Either the battery isn’t working properly, the wiring has problems, or the voltage regulator has been damaged.


Now you know how to paint an alternator. Painting the alternator is an easy task that you can do yourself with proper guidance.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *