Mazda MPV 2k - Alternator swapout

I just purchased this vehicle from a private party about a month ago. And now of course something goes wrong. The alternator has gone out on the car (I believe). The red light for the battery came on a few times during the day for my wife. She called me to tell me this as she was driving to a friends. The car died out on the road. They jumped it enough to get it closer to my house (about 4 miles) but it will go no further. My father in law apparently tested it with a battery charger and it seemed the battery was ok. However they couldn’t get it out of the parking lot.

So on to the actual question. I did some research on replacing the alternator myself (I have done several on other cars) and found that this alternator is at the BOTTOM. The directions I found on another forum told me I had to remove the half-shaft (axle?) to even get to it. and the real manual supposedly calls for the exhaust to be unbolted!!!

I am a mechanic by necessity and have delved deep into engines a few times. But does it sound like something I should try to tackle… or possibly cough up the cash.

Has anyone else had to do this on this model?

For reference here are the directions I found elsewhere.

“You need to pull out the half shaft on that side of the car. Best way to do that is to unbolt the knuckle from the strut and then unbolt the bracket holding the half shaft in place behind the inner CV joint. You’ll also need a small punch to remove the wheel nut (32mm) and also to reinstall it afterwards. Manual says you also have to unbolt the exhaust piping. It makes it easier but its a huge pain and not necessary. Once you have the 3 bolts from the alternator out (14MM, one on top, two on the bottom and the plug and + cable removed, move the alternator to the side and unbolt the bracket from the engine block (3 12MM bolts). Pull the bracket out and the wiggle the alternator out. Be careful not to break off the cover on the pulley as it protects the one-way pulley’s internals, sort of. If you do break it and cannot replace it, pack the center with grease. Re-install is the reverse, but it’s actually a lot harder then pulling it out, especially the bolt on top of the alternator.”



First you should have the alternator tested to see if it really is the cause of the problem. It would be a shame to go through all that work and find out it was something else, like a bad cable or a loose ground connection.

This sounds like a larger job than I would want to do myself, but that seems to happen more and more the older I get. I used to like crawling around under cars, but I don’t really enjoy it that much any more.

On some older Hondas and Acuras you have to remove the axle before you can get to the alternator. Technically, whenever you remove the axle retaining nut you should replace it with a new one. It sounds like you’ve never replaced an axle before. This will be good practice. Whether or not you want to do it depends on you.

You want to change the alternator based on what test? It might be colorful to say that, “They could not get it out of the parking lot”; but, what does that mean? Does it mean that the engine would not crank; or, start; or, what? On a vehicle with this many years, corrosion could have taken its toll. DISCONNECT the battery cables, and other cables near the battery. Clean, with sandpaper, files, knives, etc., the cable ends AND their attachments points. Put a charged battery in the car. Start the engine and, using a good voltmeter, take a voltage reading. It should be over 13 volts. If not, since the battery has a full charge, take the car (with the a/c and blower fan OFF) to an auto parts store which will do battery and alternator tests in the parking lot. Call ahead, first.