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So I got the dreaded "Service Battery Charging System" message the other day with the voltage hovering at 11. I beat on the alt and got the voltage up to around 13 to 13.5, so its clearly a worn out alt.
Question is for those that have replaced theirs (looks like a PITA) what part should I use? I can get a New Duralast Gold from AZ for $200 or a remanufactured for like $170, or a new Delco for $300.
 

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Have you tried Ebay?


I bought and have sitting in my garage (for future use) a Factory OEM Denso alternator for $104.


Someone on here posted about the alternator shop that was selling them- and we jumped on the ebay auctions. I remember a year later or so- I went back and looked- and he had them for $90.
 

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I was just thinking...
What if you take yours out- and take it to a local alternator shop to be fixed?
I only say this- because lots of the reman. units are fixed who knows where.... with cheap parts.


Ive had some alternators replaced with OEM parts at small shops.
 

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Does AZ provide one of those nifty lifetime warranties on the Duralast Gold? If so, that's the direction I'd go...

rbarrios... how many alternators have you replaced? Maybe I'm lucky but I haven't had that pleasure yet in my 15 years of driving.
 

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Cinto- I think that's where I'm leaning and yes life time warranty.
Yea that's an easy decision for me UNLESS the labor is absolutely ridiculous to replace it...
 

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This is a difficult job if you are doing it yourself, so make sure that you have an alternator that you are happy with, even if it is a few more dollars. There is a lot of work involved, and even though most of it isn't difficult work, it is time consuming. It is not a job that I want to try to do again.
 

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rbarrios... how many alternators have you replaced? Maybe I'm lucky but I haven't had that pleasure yet in my 15 years of driving.

Have replaced alternators on my classics

Chevies. 64, 67, 70. Those are super easy. Most recently the 67 Nova inline 6.
I did my sisters 2007 Buick Lucerne about 8 months ago. That one- she just decided to buy the parts at NAPA.

Recently had an issue with a vehicle in Mexico- a 95 Honda Passport. The part inside the alternator was not available locally. The Small shop- did an external work around 'hack' that got the vehicle back on the road. But- the alternator was now- not stock. So here in the states- I found the part. Next time we took a trip south of the border, we took the part and the shop installed it- got the alternator back to 'stock' condition. Dad is on no condition to do the repair work now. So having it repaired with OEM quality parts was a no brainer.


Now, in regards to the Traverse. Its way more complicated.

Last I saw/read----

Coolant hose- has to be removed
PS return line- has to be removed
AC line has to be moved out of way in 2 spots.

a bolt with a pulley on it.
reservoir moved out of way etc etc.


A repair Id want to do 1 time....
 

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Have replaced alternators on my classics

Chevies. 64, 67, 70. Those are super easy. Most recently the 67 Nova inline 6.
I did my sisters 2007 Buick Lucerne about 8 months ago. That one- she just decided to buy the parts at NAPA.

Recently had an issue with a vehicle in Mexico- a 95 Honda Passport. The part inside the alternator was not available locally. The Small shop- did an external work around 'hack' that got the vehicle back on the road. But- the alternator was now- not stock. So here in the states- I found the part. Next time we took a trip south of the border, we took the part and the shop installed it- got the alternator back to 'stock' condition. Dad is on no condition to do the repair work now. So having it repaired with OEM quality parts was a no brainer.


Now, in regards to the Traverse. Its way more complicated.

Last I saw/read----

Coolant hose- has to be removed
PS return line- has to be removed
AC line has to be moved out of way in 2 spots.

a bolt with a pulley on it.
reservoir moved out of way etc etc.


A repair Id want to do 1 time....
Does sound like a pain to do...

I've removed the alternator in my dad's '69 Camaro a number of times to do other work, real easy. The generator in my Impala (yup, it's that old) is extremely easy but blocks the oil dipstick, so any time I want to check the oil level I have to pull the generator (and thus the belt) off for a little while. Maybe a 1 minute job with 3 bolts and a couple wires.
 

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You don't need to disconnect the coolant hose nor the power steering return line to replace the alternator (although it would sure give you more room to work). You can coax the alternator out with some patience, I took it out the wheel well on the passenger side. It really helps to have an extra set of hands so that one person can work from the top and the other can steady the alternator reaching through the wheel well. As usual there is a good video on Youtube that can help as a guide. The video below is an Acadia so it is a little different, but it gives you an idea. I could not get a ratchet on the belt tensioner (not enough room), so I had to borrow a serpentine belt tool to get the belt off.

 

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Ill follow this example when ever the time comes.
He wiggles some of those hoses kind of roughly...


He also has a old Chevy truck like mine.
 

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I just replaced the alternator [email protected] 133,977 miles. What a pain in the a$$ job!! Took about 6 hours, and I am a pretty fair mechanic!!!

I was alone, so I went through the top and disconnected the power steering hose and the upper radiator hose. The biggest issue was the stupid bolt the lays under the alternator and goes through the idler pulley under the alternator....thought it would never come out.

Anyway, I also replaced the battery at the same time....it was the original and did not want to take any chances.

I bought the alternator at Advance Auto Parts (Carquest- cheapest with lifetime warranty)....original cost was $174, but with online purchase and discounts, it was about $131.

The battery came from NAPA....$123 and there is a $25 mail in rebate.

So, less than $300 all in....I heard somewhere on this forum that a guy paid a dealer over $700 for just the alternator!!!!! I bet I could easily cut two hours off the job if I had to do it again (hope not!!), as I spend a lot of time trying to see what stuff I didn't have to take off....not much. HA
 

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Zogg, thanks for your real world example/price data on this DIY job.
 

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I just replaced the alternator [email protected] 133,977 miles. What a pain in the a$$ job!! Took about 6 hours, and I am a pretty fair mechanic!!!

I was alone, so I went through the top and disconnected the power steering hose and the upper radiator hose. The biggest issue was the stupid bolt the lays under the alternator and goes through the idler pulley under the alternator....thought it would never come out.

Anyway, I also replaced the battery at the same time....it was the original and did not want to take any chances.

I bought the alternator at Advance Auto Parts (Carquest- cheapest with lifetime warranty)....original cost was $174, but with online purchase and discounts, it was about $131.

The battery came from NAPA....$123 and there is a $25 mail in rebate.

So, less than $300 all in....I heard somewhere on this forum that a guy paid a dealer over $700 for just the alternator!!!!! I bet I could easily cut two hours off the job if I had to do it again (hope not!!), as I spend a lot of time trying to see what stuff I didn't have to take off....not much. HA
Well done! Frustrating job, to be sure. You are correct, getting a mechanic to do it could run you well over $1000 they charge you for the part.
 

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U P D A T E>>>>>

I had to move the passenger seat all the way forward to get at the stupid battery....who designed this vehicle?????

Anyway, the next day the Service Air Bag light came on!! I checked and there was a recall for the connections to be cut and soldered by the dealer. I went to the local dealer with VIN in hand....they said mine had been repaired under the recall. I looked under the passenger seat and saw absolutely NO SOLDERED connections....the original yellow connector was still there looking at me. So, I pressed the connection together and bingo, the light went out. Stupid bad connector design apparently separated just enough to cause an issue when I moved the seat forward....

General Motors has a lot of work to do, in my opinion. The layout of the alternator, the location of the battery, poor electrical connections, crummy mechanics to recall service work, etc., etc., etc. Two months ago, we replaced the alternator on my son's Nissan truck.....total of 15 minutes, including a new serpentine belt.....

I traded in a 2006 Toyota Sienna with 260,000+ miles and never had this kind of troubles. I have only had this stupid vehicle for two weeks, and IT IS NOW FOR SALE.....I'm buying a Toyota, Nissan, Kia, or anything but any kind of GM vehicle...….

It's not just this car....I quit buying GM vehicles years ago do to the same a$$hole problems....never again!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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If you have an Advance Auto parts around your area, you might try getting one from them. Buy it online, but look prior for discount coupons that you can use. A lot of times, they'll have a $XX off of $XXX or even a 20-30-40% off online coupon you can use to order online and pick up at the store. Their units come with lifetime warranties. And, with some of my experiences over the years with replacing parts and first hand information from a former friend who was a NAPA Regional manager, a lot of the parts you get at one store, are the same one's you get at another. Also, Rockauto.com is a pretty fair place to find things for reasonable prices.
 
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