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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So not even a month after picking up my 9-5, it is completely dead. The alternator is no longer putting out a charge.

I was just on my way back from the airport, driving at a normal pace with no strenuous load on the system, and the charge light (along with the warning light) went on. I luckily managed to get the car to my driveway before the battery died... So I get the car started on another battery, and then disconnect it to see if the alternator will sustain running the car on it's own. Obviously not, because the car just sputtered out.

So, it looks like on top of the front passenger wheel bearing, front cam seal and rotors I need to replace, I have an alternator as well (oh yeah, plus fixing the scratch someone keyed into my car, and getting new tires). Not only that, but I also got a CEL reporting misfires about a week ago... it hasn't come back since replacing the spark plugs, but the ones in there were almost brand new to begin with. (Yeah, that's seriously the first and last time I will ever buy from a city lot, that's for sure).

I just called the local dealerships and they priced me out an alternator. It's $1050 CAD (that's $883 USD, folks). Seriously, where do they get off asking this sort of a price? Anyways, that's obviously way too much (hell, I had a custom 200 amp HO alt built for my last car for about 1/3rd the price), so I may be buying the used one off of eBay... but god knows how long that one will last.

Do you guys know anyone who can help me? I really want this car to soar, but I was already stretching my budget just to buy the car... now I just feel like I'm getting gouged left right and center. To add insult to injury this happened the day I was supposed to leave on the road trip to the west coast I have been promising my Girlfriend all summer... she's taken the bus alone now.

Ugh. I feel sick. :cry:
 
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I think I would check the battery first.. The car wont run itself without being connected to the battery. We have had reports of all sorts of warning lights and fault codes when the battery is at the end of its life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Double checked for you...

Ran a known good battery in parallel with the stock one using booster cables... "No charge" light came on. Removed the stock battery and tried it off the battery on booster cables alone... "No charge" light came on again. I would try putting the good battery in the car, but unfortunately the cables don't reach the terminals unless I tilt the battery (which isn't sealed as far as I can tell).

My friend is bringing home a multimeter with an inductive clamp so I should be able to get some current readings soon.

This is all very odd though... I am used to alternators going out with stink, smoke, or at the very least a bit of whining.

Are you sure the car shouldn't run without the battery present? I actually use this method when changing batteries for large stereo setups... you leave the car running off of the alternator, then disconnect the battery and connect the new one while it is still running. This way you don't lose any of the presets, since there is still 14.4v in the system. The alternator should be able to provide ample current to run the car, even at idle (otherwise your car would stall if you left it running).
 

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I have never read a post of a 9-5 owner needing a new alternator :confused:
 

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The dealer probably priced you a new alternator, you only need a rebuilt one. Go to a local garage and see if they can get you the part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
New alternator or not, that price is absolutely ridiculous. New Ferrari alts are cheaper. New freight truck alternators are cheaper. It would still be cheaper for me to buy an aftermarket 300 amp alternator and then weld some new brackets and pulleys for it. Absolutely ridiculous!

A Bosch alternator that makes 65-130 amps is nothing special. Check the Pontiac Sunfire, or many other fine GM vehicles. Why are those alternators 1/5th the cost? Ridiculous!!

If further testing tonight shows that the alt is indeed DOA, I am going to have to either get it rebuilt by an alternator shop or go the aftermarket HO route.

RIDICULOUS!! :(

Thanks for the help though... you guys have me feeling there may still be some hope yet! :cool:
 

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check around for rebuild shops. i have had quite a few alternators rebuilt for about $75. and they are as good as buying a new one, if not better because it is cheaper.
 

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uncc 9-5 said:
check around for rebuild shops. i have had quite a few alternators rebuilt for about $75. and they are as good as buying a new one, if not better because it is cheaper.
I'd echo that, you can normally fing a grotty little backstreet workshop that rewinds alternators and starters at the fraction of the cost of a new one. I remember paying £35 for a rewind Peugeot starter that a dealer wanted £180 for. You may have to wait for them to do your own alternator though, the chances of them having an exchange one are remote. As Chris mentioned, this is the 1st alternator dying i can recall as well, so you are just plain unlucky. :evil:
 

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I replaced my alternator last week. Pretty crappy job, the engine and part of the subframe and exhaust all had to be detached and I still had a heck of a time getting the dang thing out. Definitly sucked. I got a no charge light, so I replaced my alternator, and my battery charger crapped out so I just bought a new battery too. after hearing people talk I dont even know if the alternator was bad now.


Oh, my alternator came with the engine I replaced. It was the one that didnt work, so I had to put the old one back in. Sounds like a good deal that I didnt have to buy a new one!
 
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