The alternator in my '04 Lumina SS is its Achilles' heel. It lasts a few years before it starts to overcharge the battery, after which the only practical remedy is to replace it.
While I cannot be sure of the cause for this, I have always noticed that a tremendous amount of caked-on dirt and dust accumulate in the windings over time. In order to extend the life of the alternator I would like to clean it out as much as possible.
I don't mind taking the alternator out of the engine bay to do this. I'm a little nervous about disassembling it though since I tried it once upon a time and ended up damaging it.
Obviously water and alternators don't really mix well. One idea that springs to mind is to hit it with brake cleaner, though I'm concerned that doing so may compromise the in-built voltage regulator.
- What options do I have?
- What precautions should I take?
- And are there any recommendations or tried-and-tested methods that I should follow?