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Q: Need to get an alternator replaced on my 2006 ford escape. Was quoted $525 and an additional $125 for the belt. Does this sound correct?

asked by on

battery light went on and battery was not recharging. i had to recharge it myself with a battery charger. took it in suspecting the alternator is bad

My car has 105000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello there. Costs will vary depending on w...

Hello there. Costs will vary depending on whether you have the 4 cylinder or 6 cylinder. The 6 cylinder requires 3 hours to complete the two tasks (alternator plus belt). The 4 cylinder requires a little over 2 hours. These are average values. An alternator at retail typically costs from $120 on up to about $300 depending on what brand or quality you decide to purchase.

A serpentine belt is a fairly mundane, mass produced part and is NOT costly for either engine, ranging from $20 to $30 at retail. Keep in mind, if you are using your own mechanic and buy your own parts, you can easily get 30% off those retail prices with an online coupon. So, the REAL cost of the parts, assuming you buy the MOST expensive Bosch alternator is about $230 plus tax.

You were quoted $650, and I am not sure if that includes shop fees, environmental fees, state and local tax, surcharges, other non-disclosed fees plus surprises. $650 minus the parts cost of $230 (if you can get the parts for $230, they can get them even cheaper and keep in mind we are assuming use of the most expensive Bosch alternator, not an unreasonable comparison to an OEM Ford factory alternator, if you are comparing costs for items of like quality) leaves you $420 for labor and profit.

As noted, it will take from 2 to 3 hours to do the job, so that works out to $140 to $210 per hour. If the mechanic will also be putting brakes on your car (included in that hourly price) then that might be a reasonable deal. For a comparison price, you can get a free quote on the website for an alternator replacement and serpentine belt replacement, or you can give us a call.

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