12-12-2012, 07:59 PM
#1
  • Crag
  • Senior Member
  • Menifee, Ca 92586
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I recently had to replace my Alternator in my 01 Ford Focus Se DOHC and went to a well-known Automotive Parts Store to purchase my new generator...I asked what they had an was SHOCKED to learn:

A. How darn expensive the Alternator was.
B. How much of a Price difference ($50) there was between Rebuild with Lifetime Warranty and NEW with Lifetime Warranty
C. How long it would take to get ANY of them into stock.

At the urging of the store clerk I ended up buying the Rebuilt option. They bench tested it and said it "passed". I downloaded the service manual and proceeded to labor for 4 hours to get the job done. I tested the Alternator with my volt meter and found a steady current as noted in the handout.

That night as I was taking my kids caroling the battery light came on and the car shuddered and died. I took it to PepBoys and got the system checked and what do you know??? Yep, the Alternator failed under load. Now I have to take the freaking thing out AGAIN, and go to the parts house AGAIN and argue with them to get a new one, AGAIN...The $50 is NOT worth it!!!


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 12-12-2012, 08:17 PM
#2
  • Johnny
  • Emeritus
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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It will be interesting to see how they honor their warranty.

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 12-13-2012, 05:42 AM
#3
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Years ago there were three choices of alternators

1. rebuilt
2. re-manufactured
3. new

#2 was the best way to go because the parts to rebuild were suppose to be better.
Today if I have to replace an alternator or water pump I would choose NEW.

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 12-13-2012, 07:19 AM
#4
  • Crag
  • Senior Member
  • Menifee, Ca 92586
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Yes...I'm finding out that the $50 I saved is not really a savings at all...I guess you get what you pay for!

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 12-13-2012, 09:50 AM
#5
  • wingdo
  • The Dude Abides
  • Florida
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(12-13-2012, 05:42 AM)slantman Wrote: Years ago there were three choices of alternators

1. rebuilt
2. re-manufactured
3. new

#2 was the best way to go because the parts to rebuild were suppose to be better.
Today if I have to replace an alternator or water pump I would choose NEW.

This is exactly how I feel. When I was young and worked on my own cars, re-manu was always the way I went. My friends and I always believed that yes, re-manufactured were actually to higher standards than new which were built cheaply to reap maximum profits for both the supply chain as well as the actual automobile company.

Now though with the amount of electronics and computers in cars, much brighter and higher draw headlamps, and everything else which can draw massive amounts of "peak" power, I only want OEM or better put in. By "or better" there are companies you can order from which will supply better than OEM equipment. But to just go to a parts store, OEM (NEW) or nothing now days.

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 12-13-2012, 10:03 AM
#6
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I had a similar issue with my wife's car. Replaced the alternator with a rebuilt one...a year later had to replace it again (the warranty was honored so there was no cost), however about a year later it went out again. I was not able to replace it myself at the time so I had my wife bring it to the dealership to get replaced- they installed a brand new alternator. That was about 5 years ago and we haven't had an issue yet.

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 12-13-2012, 10:59 AM
#7
  • vuk
  • Senior Member
  • Virginia
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I know the frustration of changing a part only to have it fail shortly after.
I used to rebuild the alternator on my older Volkswagen by replace the brushes, bearings and regulators; but I could have it in and out of there in about 15 minuets. Modern cars are packed so tightly under the hood I would likely go with a new just because of the labor involved in replacing it.

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 12-13-2012, 11:18 AM
#8
  • Crag
  • Senior Member
  • Menifee, Ca 92586
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Yes and couple that with where Ford decided to put this and pow, 4 or 5 hours! It is behind the engine on the firewall side, under the vaccuum hoses and Fuel Lines...A royal Pain in the butt!

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 12-13-2012, 08:38 PM
#9
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Cars! Sheesh! The spending never seems to stop.

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 12-15-2012, 01:49 PM
#10
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On my last car, I had luck with a used one I got at a salvage yard. Cost next to nothing compared to new and worked for 3+ years until I got rid of the car.

Not saying that's the way to go because there's really no way to tell what kind of abuse used parts have gone through. Just throwing it out there as an option.

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 12-15-2012, 02:34 PM
#11
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Hate maintenance on my vehicle. Feels like a darn car payment. That said, I suppose I only pay the "car payment" every 6 months or so.

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 12-15-2012, 06:32 PM
#12
  • Crag
  • Senior Member
  • Menifee, Ca 92586
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Quote:Hate maintenance on my vehicle. Feels like a darn car payment. That said, I suppose I only pay the "car payment" every 6 months or so.

That's the beauty and curse of car ownership...Biggrin

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 12-21-2012, 02:14 PM
#13
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I have always been a bit concerned that "new" alternators have no core charge, and remanu's do. If "new" are so good, I always wonder why no one wants the core back.

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 12-21-2012, 02:32 PM
#14
  • wingdo
  • The Dude Abides
  • Florida
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(12-21-2012, 02:14 PM)john parker Wrote: I have always been a bit concerned that "new" alternators have no core charge, and remanu's do. If "new" are so good, I always wonder why no one wants the core back.

Because with a re-built, they want the core back to rebuild another one. New means "new" and there are no old parts in it. OEM's do not build new stock from old.

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 01-28-2013, 07:34 AM
#15
  • urrlord
  • Active Member
  • central georgia usa
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You may want to look into having your existing one rebuilt locally if there is a rebuilder around.A few years ago I had one rebuilt in my Tracker for around 50 bucks ,one from the parts house was 140 dollars.

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