1999 honda civic alternator replacement

1999 honda civic alternator replacement DEFAULT

Automotive Forums .com Car Chat > Honda > Civic | CRX > '96-'00 Civic > 98 Civic Alternator Step by Step

98 Civic Alternator Step by Step


03-24-2008, 11:38 PM


Tonight, I stopped by the auto shop to double check why my battery was low and it turned out that my alternator had finally kicked the bucket.

Even though they were able to test and see that my alternator was a problem, they needed to have me bring it in to have them bench test it. They also told me to bring in the battery (only 3 months old) to recharge it.

So here is my experience of taking out the alternator on a 98 civic 4dr lx.

1. Make sure you disconnect the negative battery cable, then disconnect the positive as well. In my case, I took the battery out to get it recharged.

2. Now, you will want to find the 4P connector. It's a green square-like plug with a push down lever on the top side. It was a bit of a pain, but eventually, it came out.

3. Next thing you want to do is undo the terminal nut which is nicely covered by a rubber cover. Just pull it back and you'll see the terminal. I believe it's a 10mm nut (my new alternator had a new nut). Then take the white wire out completely. There is also a wire tie that keeps the white terminal wire and the connector close to the alternator. It's an 8 mm nut I believe. You need to remove this or else either the alternator is not going anywhere or your wiretie will snap (which happened to me). No biggie, I got a new one.

4. The FSM recommends that you unplug the wire harness (by the way, to remove it, you need to push the lever away from the connector) that is above the alternator but I didn't need to do that until I was installing it (I needed more space to use a crow bar to tighten the belt).

5. All of this can be done while you are over the car, but I found it easier to take the connector off from under the car. So ramp up your car or put it on some jacks. Before you jack it up, remove the driver side front wheel for more space.

6. Now remove the plastic molding (plastic bolts and then remove the plastic rivets). I only removed the two right above the front driver's wheel and then one more in the front to get it loose. Save these plastic rivets and bolts.

7. Look at this, the FSM now says to remove the adjusting bolt, the through bolt nut, and then the belt. Next, pull out the through bolt and then remove the alternator.

Even though in words, it took a line or two, in actual time, this took me at least 3 hrs. Now I know what to do. So I'm trying to save you some time here. Pay attention. Nothing beats real live experience.

7. You can remove the adjusting bolt (I believe 10mm) from above the hood. For me, the last few turns, I needed to use the index finger from each hand and to turn it in tandem. There was no space to put a wrench near the end (you need to save this bolt for the install).

8. Now get under the car and remove the nut that is holding the through bolt. The through bolt is at the bottom of the alternator. It's a 14 mm. Save this bolt and nut.

9. Then pound the bolt out with a hammer and a screw driver. You should be able to get the alternator out of the lower mount bracket now.

10. Now, the FSM says to remove the lower mount bracket, if necessary. I personally could not figure out, for the life of me, how to remove the alternator without removing the lower mount bracket. This is the bracket that had the through bolt going through it. The alternator rotates on this bolt to tighten the belt.

11. The lower mount brackets are held by two 14mm bolts but for me, it had been 11 yrs and it was real tight. I ended up having to buy a 14mm deep socket (a regular socket did not have space for me to use a rachet wrench with it) and used my longer torque wrench to get it out. It certainly was not tightened to 44Nm as it states in the manual. It felt like it was at least 100 Nm.

12. Now that you have removed the lower mount bracket, you need to slide the alternator out the front driver side through the now vacated space of the lower mount bracket.

13. For me, the alternator came out with the pully side facing me and it just barely slides out of the area. You need to keep rotating it until it gets out. It's like a puzzle piece.

14. A warning, some of you might be tempted to remove the alternator through the middle of the car, I warn you, trust me. It will not come out that way. It needs to come out of the front driver's wheel side.

Once it's out, then go get it tested to make sure it is really toast and then get a new one. Mine was $109 with a lifetime warranty. I couldn't complain.

The installation was the reverse.

15. The last thing is the tighening of the belt. I ended up having to use a crow bar and place it between the alternator and a large metal piece. This gave me the leverage needed to tighten the belt. The first time it was too loose and it was squealing really loud.

I hope this helps someone out there with a 96-00 civic who wants to do a diy alternator replacement. I must say, it was not easy but well worth the labor cost compared to getting it done at a shop. Of course, if you have access to a lift, go for it. It was tough getting some leverage when you are so low to the ground.


05-28-2011, 07:14 AM

Hey mundy5,

Thanks for the detailed write up! I guess no one else found it informative.

One question, I got a 98 Hatch, do they have very similar eng compartments?

Thanks Man!


05-28-2011, 10:31 AM

You're welcome. This is the reason why I posted it so that others who have a similar issue will not need to spend 3 hrs trying to get it out.

I can't believe that it's already been over 3 yrs since I've done this.

I would think that the setup is similar. I believe most of the differences are in body. The engine compartment should be the same since my factory service manual makes no distinctions between a hatch and a 4 dr like mine. Enjoy and post back when it is tested and if needed replaced.


12-29-2016, 09:55 PM

thanks for the right up!! I was wondering if it could come out the bottom without removing the axle as the book says to do. I noticed some people take it out the top but that looks pretty awkward.

thanks again, roger.


12-29-2016, 11:31 PM

Yep, the alternator comes out with out the axle removal.

But you have to remove the alternator bracket, and jack up the driver's side to aid in removal.

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1999 Honda Civic - Alternator

The alternator charges the battery and keeps the electrical accessories of the car working while it is running. When the alternator loses capacity or fails, the electrical systems will only stay on until the battery's reserve charge is depleted. Your car might die, but you may be able to restart it with a jump start. If you notice that your headlights dim or your battery won't stay fully charged, it may be time to replace your alternator or other related parts. This might include replacing the voltage regulator if it is separate from the alternator. Also, check the tension of your belts to make sure the alternator is spinning while the engine runs. If you need an alternator or other charging system parts, shop O’Reilly Auto Parts. We also carry jump starters, car batteries, and starters for most vehicles.

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