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Old 8th September 2007, 13:26   #1
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Default Need help on Alternator replacement of 2003 Santro XING?

Hi everybody,
I have been a prowler on this site for long
Mostly do a lot of reading on new cars launched and to get a hang on how cars measure up against each other with respects to mileage, reliability, cost of maintenance, etc. Never found the need to post actually.

Well, getting to the point. I own a 2003 Santro Xing bought in Chennai. Last year after moving to Mumbai, my troubles with the Santro has increased manifold. Kun service centre in Chennai was really good. Never had a problem and none of my car's trip to the servicing centre cost me more than 2-3k max. However each time I lug my car to the Jaybharat service centre in Chembur, I am handed a bill for min 5K. Every other time, I am asked to replace one thing or another. At first I thought it was the bad roads and rains taking their toll on the car but now getting suspicious.

Recently, I had an accident and am in the process of getting the car fixed. The service centre has got back to me saying that I need to replace the Alternator and it will cost me around 6.5-7K inclusive of the labour. My car has done around 39,000 kms since I purchased the car in June 2003. Is this cost and time of replacement ok? 95% of the driving is done in the city itself.

The engineer is saying that the car is making a noise while driving and the battery will die soon if I do not change the alternator. I am a noob at this so pls bear.

Can anyone let me know the cost of an alternator replacement in Santro and whether I need to get it done now?
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Old 8th September 2007, 14:20   #2
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I guess your car is at jaybharat service center right now. Could you please visit your car and check what type of sound is it producing??? If it is screeching sound every time the engine is revved, it is most probably the fan belt gotten loose. Also if possible ask the engeneer to explain what exactly is wrong with the alternator before you tell him to replace it. Kindly Post your observations so that we all can have a better idea about the state of the alternator. Remember dont argue with him just soft peddal him to explain. Since we all know there are many probable reasons for a sound from a car.
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Old 8th September 2007, 15:36   #3
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Check with another center. Maybe its just the belt
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Old 8th September 2007, 16:25   #4
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I've seldom heard an alternator making a sound or packing up at 39K unless something really drastic has happened.

A second opinion is always helpful. In future you might like to follow a procedure a friend of mine does. Every time he has to visit the ASC for his car for some problem he goes first to a private garage and asks for their opinion and then visits the ASC.

If only the diagnosis of the private garage is in agreement with that of the ASC, he goes ahead.
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Old 8th September 2007, 16:55   #5
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Default alternator smashed?

Ronnie, under normal circumstances an alternator would not need replacement so early into its life. But yours are not normal circumstances, (accidented car) right? Did the alternator suffer physical damage? (I doubt it, though I don't really know where exactly it is placed in a Santro). But if the alternator is a casualty of the accident then a lot of other front end components of your car would also have required renewal: eg. radiator, ac condenser, front grille, bumper, engine bay hood/bonnet etc.. get the idea?
Chances are, as already pointed out, that the belt could be loose. Or it could be a bearing - there are many used in the whole circuit:- pump, idler pulleys, the alternator itself etc. Please do confirm the faulty component IS the alternator.
If it is, yes you will need to have it repaired/replaced soon. It charges the battery you see; so without it your battery will die out in no time at all (ie. probably the same day). Such a battery is not beyond redemption - it can be 'charged' again and will work for the remainder of its life quite well.
Take a friend along who can help you with all this.
My gut feel is that they are trying to take you for a ride. In any case, consider 'repair' elsewhere instead of 'replacement' at the service centre.
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