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Old 09-16-2019, 10:15 AM   #1
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Alternators

I have a 2002 LX with about 100k miles. About 3 years ago the factory alternator went out and I replaced it with a remanufactured one from advance auto. That worked fine for about 2 and a half years. Then 6 months ago my voltage started bouncing all over the place and I started having weird electrical issues—such as my headlight flickering, and then the headlight relays burned up. So I replaced it with another one from advance auto under their lifetime warranty.

Then everything was fine again for about 6 months. Now it’s 6 months later and I am having all kinds of electrical issues again. For example when I stomp on the gas to merge on the freeway, the voltage spikes (to upper 15’s). This of course causes all kinds of electrical issues such as shutting off my radio, and all my dash gauges (such as speedo and fuel gauge) go haywire, etc. On the other end, when I am idling at a stop light my voltage is dropping into the low 12’s.

Obviously, there is a voltage problem. I guess my question is, can this be anything other than the alternator? I can’t believe I am changing this thing so often. Is there something I should look for that is causing the alt’s to burn up, or is it just low quality remanufacturing. Thanks.


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Old 09-16-2019, 10:21 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by KT66611 View Post
I have a 2002 LX with about 100k miles. About 3 years ago the factory alternator went out and I replaced it with a remanufactured one from advance auto. That worked fine for about 2 and a half years. Then 6 months ago my voltage started bouncing all over the place and I started having weird electrical issues—such as my headlight flickering, and then the headlight relays burned up. So I replaced it with another one from advance auto under their lifetime warranty.

Then everything was fine again for about 6 months. Now it’s 6 months later and I am having all kinds of electrical issues again. For example when I stomp on the gas to merge on the freeway, the voltage spikes (to upper 15’s). This of course causes all kinds of electrical issues such as shutting off my radio, and all my dash gauges (such as speedo and fuel gauge) go haywire, etc. On the other end, when I am idling at a stop light my voltage is dropping into the low 12’s.

Obviously, there is a voltage problem. I guess my question is, can this be anything other than the alternator? I can’t believe I am changing this thing so often. Is there something I should look for that is causing the alt’s to burn up, or is it just low quality remanufacturing. Thanks.
Most rebuilt alternators are junk right out of the box. Buy new and replace the alternator wiring pigtail.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:51 AM   #3
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Thanks, that certainly appears to be the case here.
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Old 09-16-2019, 03:05 PM   #4
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+1 on the pigtail. It's a prick of a reach though.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:29 PM   #5
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Yup, definitely the alternator. I went ahead and pulled it out and got another “free” remanufactured one under the warranty at advanced auto. The “new” one works and voltage has stabilized. I suspect it will be similar to the last two remanufactured ones and this will only last for a short time. Ultimately the solution will be to buy a new alternator (when family finances allow).

I recommend for anyone reading this that needs an alternator just to buy a new one and skip this remanufactured nonsense. Specifically avoid the carquest brand ones from advance auto.
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Old 09-22-2019, 01:38 AM   #6
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EVERY brand does it now and part being new instead of rebuilt may not fix the issue at all. It is the quality of the regulators they use and they use the cheap crap ones even in the new alts often, I used to sell them.

When they say 'lifetime warranty' that does NOT mean the part is a better one and should last a lifetime, no buddy, not even close. It actually means they will continue to give you crap parts that will break over and over for as long as you are dumb enough to switch them out on a regular basis. 'Lifetime'...............the alternator and starter business is down to that now, I failed 20% of them right out of the boxes. The parts are utter garbage and our brand new O'Reilly ones broke as fast as the rebuilds did.

They CAN use heavy duty regulators but that costs them an added $20 per alt in clean profits, and why they don't do it. You know them well, the ones who gave you that tax cut that you never saw, it only went to them.

Lifetime warranty is only for those that keep themselves in a hole, it is set up to do it even more. It is actually one of the biggest scams that has even been put over on people. It allowed parts quality to DROP instead of get better. And drop like a rock it did, I watched it for 3 years as line after line of world famous dependable parts got worse and worse and worse, now you don't even know where the parts come from any longer as the boxes are all chain names only, each part can come from a hundred Chinese factories. Look at the box point of origin and the part itself; much of the time they aren't even the same country. When you buy the house brand you are likely buying the lowest quality product in the world. You because of the lifetime warranty though will pay enough to allow them to supply you with up to 4-6 units before they actually begin to lose money, the prices are that high. Around 4 they will try to offer you your money back in a complete refund as they know where the loss of profit point is. Before that you played the sucker all the way.
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Old 10-29-2019, 12:36 AM   #7
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Thats where a new Ford one comes in, specially if its in a hard to install place.....
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