Where can I buy a good alternator? Seems they are always crap.

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Chop Stuff Up, May 4, 2011.

  1. Chop Stuff Up

    Chop Stuff Up LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    Every time I buy one at Pep Boys or Auto Zone it seems like I get nothing but crap. The last one from Auto Zone only lasted 4,000 miles! I've been through at least 6-7 alternators on different cargo vans which have not lasted long at all. They replace it for free under warranty, but there's still the hassle of breaking down and having to take the thing back, and sometimes I am 400+ miles from home. I have one going out as of this morning, but it's the original on this particular van and I am at 120k miles. If I could get that many miles out of a new one I would be one happy guy! I guess this is a venting more than anything, but if someone could suggest some good alternators, that would be great!
  2. poolboy

    poolboy LawnSite Silver Member
    from earth
    Messages: 2,408

    I will never buy any part from Auto Zone again; the alternator I purchased was dead from the get go. There is a reason why they're cheaper. Try NAPA instead.
  3. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Agreed, try NAPA first.

    If theirs is junk too, then I would try to find an auto-electric shop and have it re-built with better parts.

    Now, my question is what are you using in the van that is putting enough constant load on the alt that it's burning up quick? How old are the batteries, do you have any electrical issues, and have you considered bumping up to a high out-put alt?
  4. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 998

    I don't think it's where you buy it, but what brand you get. I've had great luck with Bosch alternators. Not the rebuilt ones if I can help it but rebuilds still last several years.
  5. forbidden

    forbidden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    Ohio Generator makes purpose built high output alternators. Rebuild with more windings = more heat in alternator = shorter life span.
  6. rodzilla94

    rodzilla94 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 142

    i have a powermaster alt. on my show truck so google them or look in summit or jegs they are built like tanks and high output.
  7. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    Bosch by far rebuilds and makes great alternators; however, I'd pass on their spark plugs.

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