Alternator repair or replace?

mckeown

RMS Regular
Location
belfast
Drives
mitsi outlander
My alternator is fubar, a replacement is about 180 quid, ive heard you can get them repaired, is it worth going down this avenue? If so, who is best to carry out the repair?
 

P2ULW

RMS Regular
Drives
M3/STI/CR-V
I'd get it reconditioned, the original unit will be higher quality than the aftermarket replacement, same with starter motors. Try CJ Collins in Doagh, though i'm sure there's numerous others. If you need the car fixed ASAP though, then swap it out for another one, depends on the circumstance.
 

mckeown

RMS Regular
Location
belfast
Drives
mitsi outlander
On a touareg, im in no rush at all, i can get one off a breaker for 45 but thats a gamble. Ill try that place in doagh for a price
 

FM155

RMS Regular
Drives
Alfa 155
Used Frazers in the past too although he couldn't do the ECU controlled alternator in the MX5. I got a cheapy chinese version off him which was tbh junk so I ended up getting a good S/H original unit. Just be careful of anything non OEM if it cant be repaired.
 

Blackie

RMS Regular
Location
Newtownabbey
Drives
'04 Clio Dynamiq
I'd get it reconditioned, the original unit will be higher quality than the aftermarket replacement, same with starter motors. Try CJ Collins in Doagh, though i'm sure there's numerous others. If you need the car fixed ASAP though, then swap it out for another one, depends on the circumstance.
This, do not go for aftermarket, generally they’re crap. I’ve put three aftermarket ones in the Vectra, all them drop charge after between 4-6months, each one was a warranty replacement for the first.

The only reason I changed it in the first place was basically mid-diagnosis. Thought it had a noisy bearing inside (had changed the pulley to no avail), turned out to be the aircon pump.

Currently running a second hand genuine one now.
 

Antoin

RMS Regular
Location
Portstewart
Drives
E60 535d
Might just be brushes in which case it could be a couple of pound and a bit of your time to do.
Have you Googled to see what commonly fails?
 

stevieturbo

RMS Regular
Location
Antrim
Drives
Old Ford
This, do not go for aftermarket, generally they’re crap. I’ve put three aftermarket ones in the Vectra, all them drop charge after between 4-6months, each one was a warranty replacement for the first.

The only reason I changed it in the first place was basically mid-diagnosis. Thought it had a noisy bearing inside (had changed the pulley to no avail), turned out to be the aircon pump.

Currently running a second hand genuine one now.
Even aftermarket ones on my van, I was getting around 150k from them. OEM lasted about the same, so little odds really. Meant no sense taking the risk buying a used OEM that was probably due to fail. Prices did come down considerably over the time I owned my van, from around £350 exchange at the start, to a little over £100 with no exchange !
 

Blackie

RMS Regular
Location
Newtownabbey
Drives
'04 Clio Dynamiq
Even aftermarket ones on my van, I was getting around 150k from them. OEM lasted about the same, so little odds really. Meant no sense taking the risk buying a used OEM that was probably due to fail. Prices did come down considerably over the time I owned my van, from around £350 exchange at the start, to a little over £100 with no exchange !
The ones for the Vectra were £108 with exchange And that was because I knew a guy in the motor factors.

The three aftermarket ones I replaced were all done within less than 18mths as mentioned above (4 to 6 months between each change) and less than a combined total of 9k miles. In retrospect I think they burnt themselves out, because on average they were charging at around 14.8v, whereas the OEM one is running at around 13.7v.

As I also mentioned above the OEM one turned out to be fine and was only replaced due to misdiagnosis and had covered over 170k miles with no signs of wear.

I’m not suggesting that every aftermarket one is as bad as these ones, these three all cane from the same motor factors and I think they were a crap brand, because on my most recent contact about the one that failed the other week, they’ve advised me that they’ve changed supplier. May well be coincidence, may not be.
 
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Woodcutter

RMS Trader
Drives
P&C Pug Partner
Load of balls that all aftermarket ones are crap. Fit a decent brand and it’ll generally be better than a rewound one that you’ll get done locally.

If aftermarket ones were garbage, we wouldn’t give ourselves the hassle by selling them and having to deal with warranty claims.
 

stevieturbo

RMS Regular
Location
Antrim
Drives
Old Ford
Almost none are ever re-wound. They'll replace bearings and the regulator, maybe rectifier etc. But the main core parts would have little reason to touch.

And 13.7 is pretty low, 14.8 is better.
 

pobmk4

RMS Regular
Location
Ballymoney
Drives
Caddy 2K
I've replaced countless alternators using aftermarket parts, use a reputable brand and you'll be fine. Beware, there is a load of Chinese guff on the market so do a bit of research and see what suits. Anything that runs a smart charge system I'd always advise using a genuine part though.

After multiple failed "refurb" jobs by independents it put me off using them ever again, the hassle to remove, repair and replace more than once wasnt worth the "cheaper" job. Replacement units usually carry a decent 12 month warranty.
 

Blackie

RMS Regular
Location
Newtownabbey
Drives
'04 Clio Dynamiq
Load of balls that all aftermarket ones are crap. Fit a decent brand and it’ll generally be better than a rewound one that you’ll get done locally.

If aftermarket ones were garbage, we wouldn’t give ourselves the hassle by selling them and having to deal with warranty claims.
Like I said, I wasn’t suggesting that every aftermarket one is crap.

Sadly with the motor factors I used, I was given a choice of brand. Even with the two warranty returns, when I asked for an upgrade, even offering to pay any difference, I was told there they didn’t offer any alternative.

Of course I realise this is an issue with this particular motor factors, but I was between a rock and a hard place each time it failed as I needed the car on the road as quickly as possible and I didn’t have the money to allow me to pay full costs for another one from another motor factor whilst waiting on a refund from the initial motor factor.

Almost none are ever re-wound. They'll replace bearings and the regulator, maybe rectifier etc. But the main core parts would have little reason to touch.

And 13.7 is pretty low, 14.8 is better.
14.8 is too high. 14 or fairly close to it is the norm.
 

FM155

RMS Regular
Drives
Alfa 155
Mine was an early type of smart charge system and I was sold a replacement unit which turned out to be guff. It wasn't a reconditioned unit, it was new, just sh1te. I was in a bind as it was a couple of days before a rally and I needed something that just worked. It never really did so I went with a good S/H unit which has been fine.

I'm not saying all aftermarket units are crap at all, just watch out for the ones in black boxes with no name on them.. Lesson learned lol
I only read the label when I took it off to dump it. The casing wasn't even dimensionally correct, I had to shim it with washers to get it to fit right-ish.

20180926_153045.jpg
 
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stevieturbo

RMS Regular
Location
Antrim
Drives
Old Ford
Like I said, I wasn’t suggesting that every aftermarket one is crap.

Sadly with the motor factors I used, I was given a choice of brand. Even with the two warranty returns, when I asked for an upgrade, even offering to pay any difference, I was told there they didn’t offer any alternative.

Of course I realise this is an issue with this particular motor factors, but I was between a rock and a hard place each time it failed as I needed the car on the road as quickly as possible and I didn’t have the money to allow me to pay full costs for another one from another motor factor whilst waiting on a refund from the initial motor factor.



14.8 is too high. 14 or fairly close to it is the norm.
lower 14's may be the norm, but 14.8 is perfectly fine.
 

Blackie

RMS Regular
Location
Newtownabbey
Drives
'04 Clio Dynamiq
Mine was an early type of smart charge system and I was sold a replacement unit which turned out to be guff. It wasn't a reconditioned unit, it was new, just sh1te. I was in a bind as it was a couple of days before a rally and I needed something that just worked. It never really did so I went with a good S/H unit which has been fine.

I'm not saying all aftermarket units are crap at all, just watch out for the ones in black boxes with no name on them.. Lesson learned lol
I only read the label when I took it off to dump it. The casing wasn't even dimensionally correct, I had to shim it with washers to get it to fit right-ish.

View attachment 255969
Yea the ones I was sold as new didn’t even come in a box lol. They had no branding and only a sticker with a bar code along with a little red tag through one of the bolt holes which had a QR code.

As you say, lesson learned.
lower 14's may be the norm, but 14.8 is perfectly fine.
Fair enough I guess. It was the only “abnormal” aspect I had noticed whilst fitted. There are no other electrical gremlins or faults throughout the car, so in my head that had to be the reason for the “new” alternators failing each time.
 
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