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Q: Bad alternator, is this a legitimately needed repair?

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In March of 2014 my car would lose power while driving; got new alternator & battery. A month ago my car wouldn't start. I had it jumped and it started right up, but when I went to drive away, it died on me. Had it jumped again and the same thing happened. Had it towed to local shop and was told I needed a new alternator. I'd replaced high pressure power steering line, entire axel because of some dumb o ring failure in the boot, and a starter all since the first alternator, so it slipped my mind it was just replaced. 8 hours after picking it up, I realized it had already been replaced. I dug up my records and sure enough. So I called him the very next morning and asked if he was gonna help me recoup $ from the 1st company'sbad part/shoddy work, or if he was gonna issue me a refund? Is there any way I needed a new alternator after 18 months/14Kmi of use? When the battery and starter are brand new too?

My car has 195000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi there. Unfortunately, this can happen. I...

Hi there. Unfortunately, this can happen. I have only had this happen a couple of times during my tenure at the Lexus dealer while using factory parts, but more often with after market parts. Was the alternator an after market? If so, it is definitely a possibility. Does the vehicle have a leaking valve cover gasket that could be leaking oil onto the alternator? If so, the oil can damage the alternator and cause a failure. The same goes for if the vehicle has overheated with boiling over where coolant is splashed all over the engine compartment; the coolant can contaminate the internal components of the alternator and cause it to eventually fail prematurely. I suggest having a qualified technician perform an inspection to determine the cause of failure and avoid replacing unnecessary parts. Your Mechanic has several available technicians that can assist you with an alternator is not charging inspection.

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