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I bought this truck with around 80k miles on it, in great shape, new battery.

Drove fine for a long time, up over 120k miles somewhere I started to get some failing parts, nothing unusual in my opinion. Alternator stopped charging the battery, low voltage with meter and IIDTool. Replaced it with a reman unit from Autozone, 9/9/2017. Did a road trip across the US and after getting back to the daily grind, alternator not charging again. Replaced it under warranty 11/22/2017. This alternator looked brand new, I was happier.

I noticed through some other brake and ignition coil repairs that the IIDTool was reading 15-16 VDC output on the alternator at times, over the past couple weeks. I was worried, but tried to ignore it until I saw a message from the vehicle diagnostic system. Plus I had/have other things to fix on the vehicle.

Today I have a battery light, 4/16/2019, around 135k mile. Check the codes with IIDTool and I'm at around 13.7 VDC , which it is usually 'healthy' at 14.2. Code is alternator field circuit, I'm assuming it's pushing AC voltage after some diode failures or something, since I was getting excessive voltage before.

So, now, this appears to be my 3rd failed alternator. Can I chalk this up to re-manufactured garbage? Have any of you had 'excessive' alternator issues with yours? During replacement I noticed that the alternators are rated at 150 Amps, but the test slips supplied with the alternator only show tested to 145 Amps.
 

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I went through numerous alternators with Autozone with my Oldsmobile and Cadillac back in the 80s and 90s. Some lasted only a few months. Same for their batteries and power steering.
And never ever trust a water pump.
Rebuilt is usually someone else’s failed part.


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I bought my 06 SC L322 with 160k on it. At around 350k the PCV allowed sooooo much oil to get sucked into cylinders it wouldn't even turn over. Had no idea, assumed it was major engine issues, sent it to the shop.

It sat for a month before I towed it in last fall. Any time it sits I'll manage the battery so it doesn't drain or sit at low voltage. NEVER had alternator issues before I parked it in this case.

Shop found it was PCV, and noted my alternator wasn't charging. Figured I'd trust their diags and let them replace it. Replacement alternator was fine under load.

L322 left me stranded with tranny issues Feb 14th (6am with the wife, no cell reception, -10c outside, we walked 2hr home) and I let it sit for a month again before towing to shop, charged battery as needed as it was parked.

They fixed the tranny wiring problem, and noted my new alternator was not working properly. Only 4 months old, and worked perfect before I parked it.

I notice on my dash with iidtool voltage display I'd always have between 14.2-14.5v at any given time. Even with heavy electrical load.

To test, I'll sit idling in park. Put both front heated seats on, both front and rear heated glass, fan on high, flip on rear heated seats.

With a good alternator, it'll maintain 14.2-14.5v

Current alternator idles at 13.8-14v with no load. With this load it drops to 12.6v pretty quick.

I think we both just had a bit of bad luck with alternators.

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Have gone through 4 autozone alternators myself, they're junk. I only keep replacing it with the autozone brand given their lifetime warranty, the hope I'll finally get a good one and the fact at this point it takes me about 30 min to swap out an alternator on these rigs. One just quit, one the voltage reg fouled allowing voltage spikes, another a bearing completely failed sounding like a failed power steering pump... the one I'm currently on 6000ish miles is starting to chirp sounding like a bearing is on its way out. I'll most likely just swap one more out through warranty before selling the truck. I initially went with the vatozone alternator because I needed the truck running for a road trip and they had the thing in stock down the street but admittedly spending a bit more on a name brand alternator will save you issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I initially went with the vatozone alternator because I needed the truck running for a road trip and they had the thing in stock down the street but admittedly spending a bit more on a name brand alternator will save you issues.
Sounds like you have the exact same story as me. I mis-typed earlier, it's an Advance Auto alternator / carquest. And I thought it had a 1 year warranty, but it looks like it is a limited lifetime warranty. I guess I'll try at least one more time, like you, I've got the change routine down pretty good by now.


Before I started all this I checked Atlantic British and saw their $400 price tag, which is pretty high for an alternator. But I see it's a Denso unit and if you look up the part it's hard to find from rockauto and elsewhere. Amazon seems to offer it through Miami British at a little under $400. Denso 210-0569

I'm going to pull it out this week and see what Advance says when they get it on the tester, if I can't get a new one from them I'll go with the Denso unit.
 

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Sounds like you have the exact same story as me. I mis-typed earlier, it's an Advance Auto alternator / carquest. And I thought it had a 1 year warranty, but it looks like it is a limited lifetime warranty. I guess I'll try at least one more time, like you, I've got the change routine down pretty good by now.


Before I started all this I checked Atlantic British and saw their $400 price tag, which is pretty high for an alternator. But I see it's a Denso unit and if you look up the part it's hard to find from rockauto and elsewhere. Amazon seems to offer it through Miami British at a little under $400. Denso 210-0569

I'm going to pull it out this week and see what Advance says when they get it on the tester, if I can't get a new one from them I'll go with the Denso unit.
That probably makes sense... Beyond the thing physically failing (bearings/internals) in my experience they're also using a junk voltage regulator, or at least one that doesn't match the specs of the rover perfectly. I had one fail with voltage spikes causing systems to just go offline in an attempt to protect against spikes... would go from 14.7 to 18v. the one I"m currently on from the day I installed it every standard light bulb on the car dims slowly pulsing from normal brightness to least. Tail lights, interior lights, sides etc. I've put it on an oscilloscope and see a substantial intermittent voltage drop... I've got a good battery but I don't think it can sufficiently buffer the volts drop given there is so much electrical equipment running on the car during operation. It's just best to put a quality alternator in these vehicles. Again the only reason I keep throwing autozone alts in, is because they're free and the hope I get one decently put together one..
 

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Is there any possibility that something is requiring that the alternator charge heavily all the time? This will kill even the best alternator. Before changing the next alternator, be sure that the battery is fully charged. A weak alternator will leave the battery partially charged, and that will result in excessive current draw from the new unit. I agree with aftermarket alternator woes. Cheap parts lead to weak performance. Ray
 
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