Range Rover broken alternator ground bolt

As a mechanic and proud owner of multiple Range Rover models, I have experienced many of the common issues that plague these vehicles.

One problem that I have encountered multiple times is the dreaded range rover broken alternator ground bolt. But hey, that’s just one of the many unique quirks that come with owning a Range Rover, right?

In this article, I’ll provide a comprehensive guide on how to diagnose and fix the range rover broken alternator ground bolt issue, some possible OBD codes to look out for, and common causes.

Additionally, I’ll be sharing some tips on whether or not you can fix the issue yourself, what parts and tools you’ll need, and some frequently asked questions. Let’s dive in!

What models are affected?

Signs and symptoms

The most apparent sign of a broken alternator ground bolt is that your vehicle won’t start. When you turn the key, nothing happens. Not even a click.

However, this issue isn’t typical to Range Rover alone, and it could be a problem with your battery, starter motor, or corroded ground cable.

To identify if the problem is specifically due to a broken alternator ground bolt, try jump-starting the car.

If it starts after jump-starting and you feel a burning smell, that could be an indication that the alternator has fried.

It is always advisable to have an expert mechanic check it out to be sure what the problem is.

List of possible OBD codes

If you have an OBD code scanner, these codes can help you identify whether or not you are dealing with a Range Rover broken alternator ground bolt issue.

Some possible OBD codes to look out for include:

  • P0562- System Voltage Low, this code typically indicates a weak battery.
  • P0563- System Voltage High, which means you might be having alternator issues.
  • P0561- System Voltage Unstable, this is the most common OBD code associated with a broken ground bolt.

Common causes

There are three main reasons why you might be experiencing a broken alternator ground bolt:

  • Over-tightening: One of the most common causes of a broken alternator ground bolt is over-tightening. During installation, too much torque can result in the bolt snapping. Always follow the recommended torque spec when tightening bolts.
  • Corrosion: Corrosion is another prevalent culprit. Exposure to moisture and rust over time can weaken the bolt, eventually causing it to break.
  • Worn Alternator: If the alternator wears out with age, the resulting vibrations could cause the ground bolt to break over time.

Can it be fixed without a mechanic?

While a broken alternator ground bolt issue might seem like a daunting task, you can replace the bolt yourself if you have the right tools and some experience.

However, suppose you’re not confident in your DIY skills. In that case, it’s always best to leave the job to the experts to avoid causing more damage to your vehicle.

Parts you’ll need to fix it

Here’s a list of the parts you’ll need to fix a Range Rover broken alternator ground bolt:

  • A replacement alternator ground bolt.
  • A new alternator (if needed).

Tools you’ll need to fix it

  • A socket wrench set with various sizes.
  • Torque wrench.
  • A pair of pliers.
  • A metal brush.
  • A drill (in case the stud needs tapping out).
  • New drill bits.
  • New thread tape.

How to fix it

  1. Disconnect the battery negative.
  2. Remove the plastic cover that covers the alternator.
  3. Find the broken bolt, and saw off the head using a hacksaw.
  4. Remove the alternator from the vehicle.
  5. Grind the remains of the bolt down to the base (Note: don’t damage the alternator body or clearance washers).
  6. Locate the bolt hole.
  7. Remove any rust from the hole and surrounding area with a metal brush.
  8. For rust inside the hole, drill it out with progressively larger drill bits until it is clean.
  9. Use a thread tap to fix the new hole’s threads and wind it with thread tape correctly.
  10. Reinstall the alternator, and tighten the bolt to the recommended torque, then connect the battery negative.

Potential alternative causes

While a range rover broken alternator ground bolt could cause the vehicle not to start, there might be additional issues present if the vehicle still won’t start after the bolt replacement.

Some other problems that could cause this issue include:

  • A weak battery.
  • A faulty starter motor.
  • A corroded ground cable.


How can I prevent the Range Rover broken alternator ground bolt issue?

The best way to prevent this issue is to follow the recommended torque specifications when installing an alternator.

Is it okay to temporarily fix a broken bolt?

While you could use an epoxy or weld to repair the broken bolt, it’s still not a permanent fix and could fail again. It’s better to replace the bolt as soon as possible.

Can I still drive my engine with a broken alternator ground bolt?

No, you can’t. Vehicles that attempt to run with a broken alternator ground bolt risk an electrical fire, which could result in total engine destruction.


Last updated and verified on 4th September 2023

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