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How often do you replace your alternator?


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I have owned 11 Reattas and several other GM cars with the 3800 engine and the only problem was a 1988 Bonneville.

I later heard that the '88 alternator housing did not allow for sufficient cooling.    It might be possible that some of the '88 designed housing 

have been rebuilt and sold for later cars.... when you get one,  compare he housing for cooling openings. 

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Last time I bought one I got it from O'Reilly's with a lifetime warranty. So even if I have to so even if I have to replace it every 6 months I don't think I'll have to pay for another one. I'm driving there now to replace the alternator in the parking lot and drive 6 hours home.

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On 12/1/2020 at 2:13 PM, Spazzaroth said:

Last time I bought one I got it from O'Reilly's with a lifetime warranty. So even if I have to so even if I have to replace it every 6 months I don't think I'll have to pay for another one. I'm driving there now to replace the alternator in the parking lot and drive 6 hours home.

the one i replaced again was probably life time warrantied but im slack with keeping up with paper work plus if i fix something once i want it to stay fixed or at least twenty years.

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On 12/1/2020 at 1:55 PM, DS_Porter 89 Burgandy said:

Most common alternator failure is the drive end bearing. Occasional replacement before it fails is good policy. Easy to do and it can prevent a tow truck incident. I learned the hard way. Also check the brushes. Easy and cheap stuff. Kits are available. Check model number carefully

What is the symptoms of the drive end bearing failing?  When my alternator died I usually just start seeing 9 to 12 volts being put out and nothing else.

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As a matter of preventative maintenance the only way to check is to remove the serpentine belt and spin it by hand. "Feel it"  Listen carefully. 

I had one fail unexpectedly and it started to make noise and I hoped I could make it home but no such luck. The belt began to smoke. End of trip. Tow truck.

 

Brings to mind an A J Foyt quote -  " a six dollar ball bearing in the gearbox failed" 

He was on his way to winning the Indy 500

 

I continue to make educated guesses about the longevity  of various car parts. Get out there and enjoy the drive. Life is a crapshoot....

           I should have been killed by now.......blah blah

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