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Old 23rd July 2018, 17:19   #1
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Alternator problem: Repair or replace?

While commuting to office today, my stereo switched off, all sorts of warning lights came on and my power steering died. But my engine was still running. Initially i thought it might be a rat issue. I found a safe place and switched off the engine. After that the engine would not switch on.

I called up the Hyundai roadside assistance who were quite prompt in sending over a flat bed tow truck to take my vehicle to Sharayu motors workshop at Turbhe where my car is normally serviced.

After checking the car, the service advisor said that the alternator was dead due to which the battery had also died and advised that I get it replaced at a cost of about 25k.

Upon asking if it was repairable, he initially discouraged me by saying that the success rate of repairing wasnt good and later claimed that the repair cost would nearly be as much as the replacent cost.

I also called up SK Karzone who are pretty well reviewed on this forum. I have a good but limited experience with them. They refused to comment on any specifics but did say that alternators can be repaired and at a fraction of the cost.

I am in a bit of a dilemma. My car has run about 83,000 km. My key concern is reliability. But on the other hand the replacement cost is quite a bit. If alternators can be repaired reliably then i would tend towards handing the car over to SK Karzone.

Request the experts on this forum to please advice.
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Old 23rd July 2018, 18:09   #2
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re: Alternator problem: Repair or replace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Locomotive View Post
I am in a bit of a dilemma. My car has run about 83,000 km. My key concern is reliability. But on the other hand the replacement cost is quite a bit. If alternators can be repaired reliably then i would tend towards handing the car over to SK Karzone.
Alternators are simple machines & can certainly be repaired. You need to ask them exactly what part of that alternator has failed and that part can be replaced.

For e.g. the alt may be mechanically sound but the brushes are worn out or the rectifier, regulator may have failed. These parts cost a fraction of the cost of a new alternator and can serve you reliably for years. Even if the alternator has mechanically failed lets say the rotor bearings have worn out those can be replaced too. Some rotors and stators can be rewound or replaced depending on the car.

I'd say consult a FNG electrician on the approx cost of repair then compare the two.
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Old 24th July 2018, 10:20   #3
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re: Alternator problem: Repair or replace?

As R2D2 said, the alternator is easy to repair. Get it done from a competent workshop for a fraction of the cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Locomotive View Post
he initially discouraged me by saying that the success rate of repairing wasnt good and later claimed that the repair cost would nearly be as much as the replacent cost.
Ask them to give a written quotation. Might be cheaper than you think.

Quote:
I also called up SK Karzone who are pretty well reviewed on this forum. I have a good but limited experience with them. They refused to comment on any specifics but did say that alternators can be repaired and at a fraction of the cost.
Tip: Never call a workshop telling them what the solution is. Indirectly, you've already done the diagnosis for them which might be right or wrong. If it's a good workshop, let them diagnose the problem themselves (you can always compare with the solution you have from another place later). Sometimes, an authorised workshop has told me that a giant replacement is required, but my trusted FNG applied a much smaller fix and got the work done.
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Old 24th July 2018, 11:53   #4
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re: Alternator problem: Repair or replace?

I agree with R2D2 and GTO here. There mostly always a possibility to repair a part rather than replacing it. Authorised workshops will however discourage you from repairs and encourage for an entire part replacement claiming reliability of the repaired part versus warranty of the new part. I assume your car is out of warranty so look at repairing the alternator from a good and reputed workshop rather than an authorised one.

I have personally come across 02 events like this for my 2010 Skoda Yeti which has done around 1.20 lakh kms till date. The first problem was an AC cooling issue where Skoda had diagnosed the problem to the compressor and said it needs to be changed which will cost me 70k odd. Took the car to a reliable AC mechanic and he got it repaired. Had to change a part inside the compressor. Cost? Just 8k. The AC cooling superbly ever since with no issues.
Our second problem which was recent was the car failing to start. Gave it to an independent garage and diagnosed the problem to be a failed IC inside the ECU which controls the fuel injectors. Cost? 25k. I dread if I had given it to Skoda, they would have changed multiple parts including the ECU and produced a bill high enough to buy another car.

Disclaimer : But then in my case, it is Skoda.
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Old 24th July 2018, 12:51   #5
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re: Alternator problem: Repair or replace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Locomotive View Post
After checking the car, the service advisor said that the alternator was dead due to which the battery had also died and advised that I get it replaced at a cost of about 25k.

Upon asking if it was repairable, he initially discouraged me by saying that the success rate of repairing wasnt good and later claimed that the repair cost would nearly be as much as the replacent cost.

I also called up SK Karzone who are pretty well reviewed on this forum. I have a good but limited experience with them. They refused to comment on any specifics but did say that alternators can be repaired and at a fraction of the cost.

I am in a bit of a dilemma. My car has run about 83,000 km. My key concern is reliability. But on the other hand the replacement cost is quite a bit. If alternators can be repaired reliably then i would tend towards handing the car over to SK Karzone.

Request the experts on this forum to please advice.
Alternators are very much repairable, cheaply and very reliably. My Scorpio's alternator's automatic voltage regulator failed a couple of years ago. Had the unit (then about 6 years & 140k km old) refurbished, with not only the AVR but also the slip ring, stator and bearings replaced, for a total cost of about Rs.5500. It still runs perfectly.

The owner of SK Karzone, Mr. Manoj Khanna, is someone I know personally, and he is also a member here (M.Khanna). He has a reputation of not cutting corners, yet carrying out good repair work at reasonable costs.
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Old 24th July 2018, 18:42   #6
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Re: Alternator problem: Repair or replace?

Definitely repairable; IMHO and experience, authorised service stations suggest replacements (most of the time) as they're far easier (for them) than actually doing all the "work" involved in removing, ripping open, diagnosis, fixing and reinstalling an alternator would entail. The replacement approach has significant benefits for an authorised service station: parts move from inventory (reducing holding costs and making profit for the ASS), takes far less man hours to get the car back out on the road and off the shop floor, in case the part fails again its covered by warranty (which a repair job won't give you), and is way more profitable than actually fixing a part. You saving money is definitely not part of their "KRA". Your car not breaking down (or the new part failing and being replaced under warranty, again) is what they run with. Most shop floor mechanics wouldn't have the skill and experience to repair an alternator. An FNG guy would.

That's one reason I barely ever go back to an authorised service centre after the free servicings are done and the warranty is over. So far, none of my car's have complained.

Let us know what you eventually go with.

Last edited by dhruvtanwar : 24th July 2018 at 18:45.
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Old 25th July 2018, 09:40   #7
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Re: Alternator problem: Repair or replace?

Definitely repairable. To give you an idea I had my Land Cruiser alternator fully overhauled for around Rs 9500/-. 2 years later and i still don't have any problems.

You should be able to get yours done for a fraction of that cost.
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Old 25th July 2018, 09:56   #8
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Re: Alternator problem: Repair or replace?

Very much repairable. Our i20 alternator started making 'kat kat kat' noise after 5 years of usage. OEM replacement part cost 25K approx. Got it repaired at around 9K which was like a complete overhaul with the brushes, pulley, bearings,regulator and few other stuff changed. Working flawlessly 3 years since the overhaul.
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Old 25th July 2018, 10:55   #9
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Re: Alternator problem: Repair or replace?

I had problems with my M800 alternator. Diagnosed as a failed rectifier. Replaced at less than 1000. With alternators that have run 50,000+km, brushes may have worn out. It is best to take it to a competent workshop that do electrical repairs and get the problem diagnosed. If it is not burnt out, then replace the rectifiers/voltage regulator, brushes and bearings. That will last another 80,000 km.
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Old 25th July 2018, 12:38   #10
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Re: Alternator problem: Repair or replace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Locomotive View Post
While commuting to office today, my stereo switched off, all sorts of warning lights came on and my power steering died.

I am in a bit of a dilemma. My car has run about 83,000 km. My key concern is reliability. But on the other hand the replacement cost is quite a bit. If alternators can be repaired reliably then i would tend towards handing the car over to SK Karzone.

Request the experts on this forum to please advice.
The alternator is definitely repairable, but even if you want to get a new one I believe the price should not be 25K. Depending on the model and whether it is a petrol / diesel engine , I guess the price could vary from 5K to 15K, maximum. And add some cost for labour.
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Old 11th August 2018, 16:27   #11
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Re: Alternator problem: Repair or replace?

1. I have repaired an alternator myself, I replaced the rectifier for less than 1k. Had no others issues for years.

2. Check with a road side mechanic, Sometimes, a loose or corroded connection can create problems. Authorized service stations always suggest you to replace the part.
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Old 11th August 2018, 16:51   #12
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Re: Alternator problem: Repair or replace?

Repair it. I had the same issue a year back. The alternator on my Vento failed while it was close to 1 lakh kms on odo. VW suggested a replacement which cost about 25k (I don't remember the exact amount). I gave it to an FNG and got the alternator repaired and it costed me about 3k. It still works fine. Just make sure to give it to a good FNG where people knows what they are doing.
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Old 11th August 2018, 18:35   #13
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Re: Alternator problem: Repair or replace?

Make sure you pick a good FNG/repair guy, but the repair option is definitely cheaper and more practical, though I must admit more time consuming. Hope you have/had a vehicle available for your commute till the repairs are sorted.
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Old 12th August 2018, 10:32   #14
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Re: Alternator problem: Repair or replace?

For alternate repairs, find an auto electrical repair shop. They specialise in electrical work. Most of the FNG garages send alternators and starter motors to them for repairs.
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Old 12th August 2018, 11:13   #15
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Re: Alternator problem: Repair or replace?

Repair it, its usually the lathe guys who do stuff to cars repair it too, go to a friendly and small Maruti Service station if the Hyundai guys refuse, he will definitely point you to a guy who repairs alternator, infact I think he will offer to do the job for you too.

A month or so back my Swift's Diesel's alternator conked off, either it was repairing it for 4 thousand or replacing it for 15 thousand, I chose the former and its been a month, I have got the output tested, its fine and running well, replacing the alternator is just shear waste of money I tell you.
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