new alternator

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Apr 29, 2005
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Cumming, GA
My LC died on the side of the road today with the wife and kids. Shop says it needs a new alternator. Quoted me $435 installed. Does that sound right?
How many out there have needed a new alternator? My 99 has only 62k on it. Seems a little premature, but then it is six years old. Still, it bothers me when my friends Mazda Pick up with 315,000 miles is still on the original alternator. As a matter of fact, I havn't had to install a new alternator on a vehicle since my Olds Cutlass in the late 70s!!
 
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May 8, 2004
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Why don't you replace the component(s) that have failed instead of the entire alternator? Any decent auto-electical shop that rebuilds alternators and starters should do it installed for under $250.
 
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mobi-arc said:
Why don't you replace the component(s) that have failed instead of the entire alternator? Any decent auto-electical shop that rebuilds alternators and starters should do it installed for under $250.

This sounds like good advice from someone who should know;)
 
Joined
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Cumming, GA
No time. My wife's mother died the same day the car died. I was able to make it to this shop and we need the car back asap. The $185 savings really isn't worth it to me, but thanks anyway. Plus, I'd like a new alternator with the jinx I've been having with this vehicle. Still, no one really answered my questions. I answered one myself. The service writer left his stack of paperwork unattended and I saw his invoice for the Alternator. $295. He marked it up 20%( fair, thats what I mark up my parts) and charged me $85 to install it. My real question is do they go out often on LCs with low miles like mine( 63k)??? I just bought this a month ago and it has been a lemon.
 

uzj100

 
 
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Do you have to give him the old alternator back as a core? If not, get it rebuilt and have it as a spare. I would say no, alternators are usually good for longer than that.

uzj100
 

ff347

 
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i believe in most states that you are entitled to your old part, technically it was yours before you needed the service. rule, i think you must have some incredible electrical ghost, i know you have had some problems with the vehicle from past posts. i asked a toyota mechanic, he said that 60,000 miles would be a fluke! of course you don't need that information now!

sorry about your families loss.

scott
 
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The whole car has been a fluke. It looks great, but has had several issues. Its a shame because I love the size, utility, and how it drives. I can see why people love these. I didn't do my part and check it out good enough because I was extremely busy at work and just didn't have the time to do things right. Would having the wrong battery installed cause an alternator to go bad? The previous owner had installed a Bosch battery that didn't really fit the opening well. It was plenty of amps though. The jokers at the repair place not only didn't give me back the part, they tried to charge a $25 "disposal fee" for throwing it away. I made them take that off as well as a diagnosing fee or $35. They quoted me $435 and I made them stick to it. Here in Atlanta there is a serious problem trying to get good mechanics. Its growing so fast that demand far outstreches supply of good mechanics. Its the same in my business of Electrical contracting.
I can pretty much get every bid I put out and my customers are lucky I try to be fair and not rip them off. It would be so easy to do.
 
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May 8, 2004
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Shape of the battery doesn't matter. Nippon-Denso alternators tend to be good quality units, but sometimes you get stung with bad luck. What can contribute to alternator failure is poor cabling, connections, or grounding. You're in the electrical business so this should not surprise you. For extra protection, you should measure resistance between alternator and battery, both hot and ground and make improvements as needed.
 

Jim_Chow

 
 
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I guess also running too many power-hungry accessories (auxiliary lights) can also cause the alternator to run too hard and lead to an early demise...like having an A/C that's too small for a house. The alternator on my '86 Toyota 4x4 is still the original and works fine, and that's even having a coolant hose drip coolant into the coils of the alternator during engine warmup over a 2 month period. Look on the bright side...how many miles does your rig have? One of my co-workers has a Tahoe and it's first alternator went out at 20K mi. He's now on his 3rd alternator now and out of warranty.
 
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Cumming, GA
The LC had some salt corrosion on the underside of the engine and that probably hasn't helped. A lot of electrical connections under the hood. Thanks for the tip, I'll be checking the connections to make sure this doesnt' happen again.
 

DMX84

 
 
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If it’s new your golden, if it’s re-built, you will want to have yours ready to be repaired in case of failure. I hate re-built alternators.
The shop I have deal with for repair, once told me; if you ever run you car on a dead battery it will take about 50% of the life.
And since you mentioned that the PO had put in a different battery in, you can only suspect what may have caused the need for replacement IE several jump-starts.
Don’t worry about it, I’m sure you rig is on it way to be a fine unit.
Later,
Dean
 
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My experiance with auto electrical problems is that the weak component usually has plenty of time to damage the others before it causes a failure. Weak battery causes alternator problems or other way around. And then you have a damaged alternator or battery screwing up your new component. I say replace the battery with a new OE Panasonic or better in addition to checking all the connections and grounds. Electrical systems seem to get into death spiral situations really easy and it is frustrating and expensive to fix.
 
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Cumming, GA
I replaced the battery at the same time as the alternator. Batteries are cheap compared to other components.
 
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