Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

asked by on

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.

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.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Rough idle, stalls when accelerating, engine shuts down while driving with no fault codes.

Hi there. The issue is the coolant thermostat temperature sensor. The sensor is malfunctioning causing the computer (ECM) to think that the engine is either too cold or too hot and causing the fuel mixture to be off. I recommend...

Q: How do I fix load muffler noise from my Lexus RX 300

You will need to have the exhaust inspected to see where the exhaust is leaking. Sometimes the flex pipe connected to the engine goes bad and leaks. Other times the muffle can rust through causing this. Have a muffler shop...

Q: Car stutters at startup

Hello, if the car has a rough idle at the start it could need a tune-up or have have a vacuum leak. Also, something could be wrong with the sensor that controls the idle, air fuel mixture, and throttle position...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.