I own a 1997 Mitsibishi Montero Sport that is in great condition, except for the alternator. I've had to replace the alternator three times in the past six months and based on the last diagnostic test, I don't have an electrical problem. The auto technician says it's because the alternators are remanufactured and tries to offer a new one. I've bought remanufactured alternators before and they've lasted much longer, should I purchase a new alternator? (I also had the water pump, battery and timing belt changed this year) Thanks
There could be a couple reasons your alternator is going bad. It could just be bad luck with the alternators you've bought, but I would look elsewhere.
A bad battery could cause the problem. Even though it's starting your vehicle, if there's a bad cell or anything that causes the alternator to work harder, it can be a problem. Have a qualified technician test the battery. If your alternators are dying then more stress is being put on the battery and just replacing the alternator may not be the answer.
Also, any loose connection between the battery and the alternator causes the alternator to work harder.
I know that places like Auto Zone check and install batteries, but they are not trained technicians. It's time to have someone diagnose your electrical system so you don't have to keep buying new alternators. If the technician you're currently using can't seem to find a problem, get a second opinion. You should not be going through alternators that quickly. I've only replaced mine once and I have a 20 year old vehicle.
〉 Answered on Jun 8th, 2008 by Lori Johnson, Owner and Instructor at Ladies Start Your Engines