Mazda MPV This minivan was among the class leaders with its roomy interior and efficient powertrain.

1996 Alternator Problem

Old 10-27-2007, 10:10 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 9
Default 1996 Alternator Problem

I had to replace the alternator on my 1996 MPV afterthe battery and a/t oil temp lights came on at the same time. When I saw the light, at first I thought it was a glitch as a result of the rain because I didn't expect BOTH lights to come on if that was the problem. On a scale of 1 to 10 for difficulty I would say that this was about a 7 or an 8. Also I was "flying blind" because apparently nobody makes a repair manual for this truck. I am sure I could probably find one online but every auto parts store I went to told me that they didn't carry it.. period. No special orders. They all told me that it was not available.

Anyhow, replacing an alternator shouldn't be rocket science, should it? It might has well have been! I discovered (the hard way) that I had to remove the pulley from the power steering pump just so I could get the bottom bolt out. Getting the pulley nut loose took the use of a long handled ratchet, both hands, and brute strength to break it free.Once I was able to get the bottom and top bolts out I also had to remove theadjustmentbracket anddisconnect the wires. This was hard also. Theygive you very little slack so you have to be very careful not to break the plastic connector while removing it and I was glad that the new alternator came with the nut that connects it to the battery because I lost it as a result of attempting to remove what I couldn't see. I would also suggest removing thetop radiator hose being that there is no other way to get it out of the cramped area of the engine compartment.Maybe I need to do a detailed write-up with photos if anyone else has to do this. I wish I would have taken pictures of the job I didn't expect it to be so difficult.

Hats off to the engineers at Mazda! Apparently nobody thought far enough ahead to arrange the engine accessories in order of importance and rate of failure. Granted that the PS pump, and A/C compressor are prone to failure too but you are more likely to replace an alternator 2 or 3 times over during the life of the car before those other things give you a problem. Secondly you could probably live without AC and maybe live without power steering but if I was away on a long trip and I had to choose one engine accessory that I could do with out,. the alternator would not be my first choice.
Old 11-02-2007, 09:17 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5
Default RE: 1996 Alternator Problem

It does't really matter that you didn't take pictures, well at least for those of us who tinker with our cars by doing a lot of our own repairs. I guess a How-To with pictures would have been good for a complete novice. I had to do the same job on my dad's 94 MPV and encountered the same obstacles you did. However, even though hard to do, they weren't hard to figure out. For this job you never have to sit for hours wondering "how am I going to get around this?" or "how am I going to do that while this is in the way??" It's more like "crap, looks like I'm going to have to remove part x and y in order to reach part C" and "man, it's taking force like heck to get this bolt off". Well, at least this thread will let people know that it's not going to be just a simple alternator job.

Mind you, this was easy compared to taking the alternator out of my brother's Ford Focus. You should see all the parts you have to remove and how hard it is to get at bolts and such. I gota usedHaynes MPV manual off of ebay for $11 after shipping was factored in but would have paid more. I later saw another go for even cheaper than that.
Old 11-09-2007, 04:56 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 9
Default RE: 1996 Alternator Problem

Doing this job made me wonder if this was a good time to do the water pump and timing belt too. [sm=headbang.gif]
Old 09-09-2011, 04:02 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: las vegas
Posts: 1

hi guys , I know i had the same problem trying to get the power steering pump pulley off, uugh the nut was super tied. so i got the mpv book and this is what it said. " WITH ONE OF THE POWER STEERING PUMP PULLEY HOLES ABOUT 7 O'CLOCK, INSERT A PUNCH THROUGH THE HOLE AND WEDGE IT INTO THE NOTCH IN THE MOUNTING BRACKET, THEN BREAK THE PULLEY NUT LOOSE" I used an alley key thick enough to fit the hole and with a brake bar and 17" socket n help from above i was able to get it loose... hope this helps ...
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