Does Autozone Test Alternators? [And, Is It FREE!]

An alternator is responsible for charging the battery so that it never runs out. An alternator is designed to last for as long as a car does, but it can fail early.

There are a few warning signs that the alternator or the battery is faulty, and today I will cover whether Autozone can test an alternator for you and if they do it free of charge.

Autozone does test alternators, and it’s free, according to the official Autozone website. They state that you can take your vehicle to any Autozone store throughout the USA, and they will test it for you free of charge. They will also check the battery and starter motor.

The battery, alternator, and starter motor are very linked, and the symptoms that one of them is not working is the same for each of these components.

There are some drawbacks to getting your alternator tested at Autozone. Below, I will explain what these are and other places you can get your alternator tested.

The Problem With Getting an Alternator Tested at Autozone

There are a few reports from people online where they state that they had an alternator tested for free at Autozone.

They state they took it there to be tested, and the employees said there was an issue with it and it needed to be replaced. But, when they got a second opinion, there wasn’t anything wrong with it.

One person had the unfortunate situation where they replace their alternator, then took it back to Autozone, and they said they still had an issue.

This means the problem was with the testing, not the alternator itself. Therefore, if their tests do reveal that the alternator is faulty, it’s best to get a second opinion before having anything replaced.

There are a few other places where you can get your alternator tested for free. These are:

  • Advance auto parts
  • O’Reilly’s

If you don’t have one of these stores near you, most auto parts stores will test them for you free of charge, so it’s worth calling any auto parts stores near you to see if they will test them for free. It can also be a good idea to go to a different Autozone across town to get a second opinion.

How To Know if Your Alternator Is Working Correctly?

It’s a very good idea to know how an alternator test works because that way, you will know if the test performed at Autozone was done correctly. Or, you can test it yourself. It is surprisingly easy to test and replace the alternator for a car yourself once you know what to do. But, you need a voltmeter like this one [on Amazon].

I actually have a detailed guide on how to test and replace an alternator of your car. Be sure to check out the step-by-step article!

If you have a voltmeter or don’t mind getting one, your alternator can be checked yourself.

The main steps are:

1. Test the reading from the battery with the car turned off

2. Test the reading from the battery with the car turned on

3. Test the reading from the battery with a lot of things on, such as the radio, headlights, and internal lights.

4. Test the reading from the battery once you turn the car off.

The main thing to note is that the symptoms of a bad alternator are also the symptoms of a bad battery or starter motor. Here are the symptoms of a bad alternator:

  • The battery light is on, on the dashboard
  • The engine cranks slowly or won’t crank at all
  • The battery seems weak, and the headlights or lights on the interior of the car are weak
  • A rumbling or squeaking noise coming from the alternator

Therefore, if you have one of these issues, then it’s a good idea also to test the battery and test the starter motor. That way, you can identify that it is indeed the alternator that is causing the issue. Luckily, Autozone will also test these for you free of charge as well.

Here’s a video that walks you through the aforementioned steps –

How To Tell if the Alternator Is the Problem

Testing the alternator will tell you that there’s something wrong with the way the alternator is connecting or working. But, this can also be caused by a bad battery, and the symptoms are the same. So, here’s how to tell if the issues your having are because of the alternator or something else.

As a general rule, you should test the alternator using a voltmeter and test the battery separately using a voltmeter. These independent tests will tell you whether the issue is with your alternator or with your battery. The tests to check both the alternator and battery are explained below.

To test the battery using a voltmeter to take a reading, and it should be around 12.6 volts. Provided your battery has an optimal voltage, you should check the voltage doesn’t drop too low when you start the car.

Anything below about 10 volts means the battery has an issue. Each of these instructions is shown in this very helpful video below, as well as, warning signs your battery has an issue:

Can You Test an Alternator Without Removing It

Cars used to have engine layouts that were very easy to access and remove or check the different components. Nowadays cars have engine designs that are more difficult to work with, in some cases, it’s virtually impossible to access a component like an alternator without removing other components.

So, this is whether the alternator can be tested without removing it.

It’s possible to test the alternator without removing it. A test is performed on the terminals of the battery using a voltmeter. The alternator can also be tested to isolate where the issue with it is coming from without removing it. Details on what should be tested are explained below.

As long as you can put a voltmeter onto the alternator, you won’t need to remove it. If there is an issue with your voltmeter, you can also isolate what is causing the alternator to have a problem without removing it.

There is a very good video above that explains how to test it and how to identify the issue with your alternator.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.