Noise from alternator 2012 Mazda5

Hello all! When I start and idle my 2012 Mazda5, a noise from the drive belt area has been getting louder and louder recently. I have noticed that the sound goes down and up depending on the heater blower setting highest or low or off or headlights pulling extra power. Noisier when under load so I think the noise if from the alternator. Car starts fine but has never been strong, and it is now sluggish. I searched youtube and didn't see a video but did see a video on water pump replacement, how much harder is it to do the alternator at the same time? Anyone got a video? Removal of the engine mount to create space around belt area makes me nervous! THX!
 
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2020 CX-5 AWD
… I think the noise if from the alternator. ...
There's no way I would replace the alternator (or anything else for that matter), when you're not even certain where the noise is coming from.

You can try to narrow down the location of the noise using a mechanic's stethoscope, or a long thin piece of wood held to your ear, and touching the other end to various points in the engine bay. If that fails to provide any better diagnosis, you can also remove the serpentine belt and run the vehicle for a minute or so, in order to see what, if any, difference there is with the pulleys not spinning. Always best to try diagnosing instead of throwing parts.
 
There's no way I would replace the alternator (or anything else for that matter), when you're not even certain where the noise is coming from.

You can try to narrow down the location of the noise using a mechanic's stethoscope, or a long thin piece of wood held to your ear, and touching the other end to various points in the engine bay. If that fails to provide any better diagnosis, you can also remove the serpentine belt and run the vehicle for a minute or so, in order to see what, if any, difference there is with the pulleys not spinning. Always best to try diagnosing instead of throwing parts.
Yeah, I don't wanna swap til I drop either but I am just getting a few indications that the alternator is failing, that the noise goes up and down depending on electrical load is one, turn off lights and blower and noise goes down, put alternator under load turning all that on and noise goes up, I have a mechanics scope, forgot I had it, gonna narrow it down more, thx!
 
Still a lot of noise from the belt side of engine, found out alternator is pretty expensive but not to bad to swap, can't tell if noise is water pump, alternator or another pulley, def a bearing going out in there somewhere.
 

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