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Can You Spray Paint an Alternator

Can You Spray Paint an Alternator? (Explained)

The alternator is the source of power for a variety of your car’s functions such as your radio or your wipers. It’s an important component of a car that’s necessary for its function. An alternator that has seen some action may not look as nice as the rest of your engine parts, so do you replace it or do you try and revitalize the way it looks?

To change up the look of an alternator or customize it to your liking, you might consider giving it a coat or two of paint. One option you have is to spray paint an alternator. Adding some paint to an alternator can help restore it to its former glory aesthetically. You can also paint it strategically to make it look cohesive with the rest of your engine. 

Before you take a can of spray paint to your alternator, there are some things to keep in mind to make sure you don’t end up causing irreparable damage to your alternator in the process of giving it a brand new look. 

Can You Spray Paint an Alternator?

You can spray paint an alternator, but purchasing any random can of spray paint and using it on this car part isn’t recommended. As with most batteries, alternators get warm as they’re working. Using the wrong type of paint may influence how well that battery is able to work or may even cause it to overheat. 

Spray painting an alternator is also likely going to be much easier and less of a hassle than trying to use wet paint with a brush. It can be a lot more difficult to control a paint brush in a way that you’ll get even coverage. That said, you can opt for a paint brush if you’re skilled with hand painting and you can find an appropriate paint. 

The best type of paint to use is a spray paint that is able to handle heat. Rust-Oleum Engine spray paint is one option you can try. Another spray paint option that works well for alternators is Alumna Blast by Eastwood. Typically, black, silver or chrome spray paints are the easiest to find and look the best but you can choose any color you desire. 

Preparing the Alternator for Spray Painting

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The first thing you’ll want to do to prepare your alternator for spray paint is take it out of the vehicle. You should find a room in a well ventilated area where your alternator isn’t going to be exposed to extreme temperatures while you’re painting. It’s also important to give your alternator a good clean before you start spray painting. 

You’ll also want to cover any of the holes so that spray paint doesn’t get inside the actual component. You only want to paint the outside. Cover up any of the exposed parts as well so that you don’t end up damaging your alternator’s function. 

Not all alternators are built the same way but most of them will have mechanisms that are not completely covered in order to ensure they don’t overheat. You can use some tape, cotton balls, or something else to cover up those spots. 

To check the current price and availability of Rust-Oleum High Heat Engine Enamel Paint, click here to view the selection on Amazon.

How to Spray Paint an Alternator

Once you have your alternator outside of your vehicle and all the vulnerable spots covered, place the alternator on a flat surface with some type of covering so that you don’t get spray paint everywhere. The best place to spray paint would be in a sheltered area that gets devcent air ventilation. 

It’s also a good idea to wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself from spray paint fumes. Once your alternator is prepared and protected where it’s needed, you’ll want to hold the paint bottle a few inches away from the alternator as you start to spray. Let the side you’ve sprayed dry thoroughly before you rotate your alternator to spray the rest of it. 

The amount of time it takes for your spray paint to dry will ultimately depend on the spray paint you choose. Be sure not to remove any of the protective components until your paint job is completely done. You’ll likely only need one or two coats of spray paint depending on the color you’ve picked and the condition of your alternator. 

After Spray Painting the Alternator 

It’s important that you give your alternator ample time to dry after you’ve applied spray paint. Not only will this prevent you from damaging your paint job, but it’ll also ensure you don’t end up transferring any paint to other parts of your engine. Letting your alternator sit out will also reduce the fumes that often come with spray paints. 

It’s a good idea to give your alternator a quick wipe before you put it back inside your car just to make sure no residue or debris is attached to it. Since your alternator is going to be covered under your hood, it’s not likely going to experience a lot of contamination that could cause damage. You may only have to worry about the occasional spot of oil.

In order to make sure your paint job lasts, you just want to make sure you’re checking your engine and the components around it regularly. Be cautious of any strange smells or leaks coming from your engine. You will want to clean the alternator and everything around it with a dry cloth to make sure no dirt, dust or liquid ruins your paint job. 

Final Thoughts

Spray painting an alternator can be a little bit risky if you’re not familiar with how spray paint works or you aren’t overly cautious. However, a coat or two of spray paint can transform the way your alternator looks, blending in with the rest of your beloved vehicle. 

If you are not confident with your painting skills, consulting an expert for some tips on your specific alternator could help you feel more confident giving it a makeover. Otherwise, you can search for an expert to make sure your alternator is spray painted to perfection and continues to keep your car going.