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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone this is a small rant. So a quick catch up. A few months ago I had my 96 gems 4.6 rover in the shop and I got a new fuel pump , alternator along with plugs,wires etc.( I could have done it myself but working away from home, never enough time to do these things lead me to beilive this was the better option at the time ) .. This shop I took it to is a European only shop that "specializes" in European veichles.. many range rovers are there along with Porsches, BMW's.. anyway. They have a 24 month/36,000 km warranty on their labor and parts . When they replaced my stock OEM alternator the first time they replaced it was with a aftermarket alternator (magneti meralli).. it lasted about a month Before it wouldn't charge anymore... Took it back there and they replaced it with a AC Delco alternator the second time. (didn't cost me anything due to the warranty) Well that alternator lasted me another month before this morning it gave me an alternator fault quickly drove it back home and parked it . Checked volts on battery , all my wires, connections look good. Ran the sticky test on the forum...I know it's the alternator. Im calling the shop tommorow to let them know it needs to be replaced once again .. Now I know aftermarket alternator's can be a pain in the *$$ for these rovers but I didn't think anything of it when I saw what they replaced it with, when the first one defected . It happens from time to time no reason to be sour . But because this AC Delco one gave up this morning I know I should get a OEM alternator..im going to ask if they have my old original OEM alternator still, and that I'd like it back(read a post about replacing coils and etc. I'd like to try my luck with that ) But should I be asking the shop to replace it with a OEM one as well... I have a feeling they will try and use another after market one and that will just crap out after another month, so on and so on...? I found a used OEM alternator on eBay for a reasonable price $CDN I could just order that, replace it myself, and hope that lasts... In your HONEST opinion. What would you fellas, gals be saying to this shop, what route would you take ... Bring back for aftermarket alternator free of cost.. get a used OEM alternator, repair it if needed, install .
 

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Just a little update... Just went to do more testing and the alternator caught fire.(atleast 6inches of high flame) ... Luckily I turned my car off in time and I had a fire extinguisher in my garage :/
 

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Original equipment was Magneti Marelli so the first one they fitted was OEM. My original (Magneti Marelli) alternator lasted the best part of 300,000 miles before the brushes had worn down to nothing, so why the first replacement died on you (or why the original died either) is a bit of a mystery.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hmm that is interesting ... The Rover currently has 241,000 KM on it which is 149,750 Miles... The AC Delco alternator just started itself on fire as I started my car to move it into the garage a hour ago... I have been so down on my luck latley .. seems like there must be soemthing else happening that I haven't picked up on yet.(find it hard to beilive but stranger things have happened) anyway. Not gonna try to fool around or look at anything else until this alternator is replaced again and I call my insurance to get full coverage/ fire insurance on it . If anything else happens I want to atleast make sure I'll be insured incase another fire.
 

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I'd ask for your old one back, and get it rebuilt. You may be able to do it yourself with brushes, slip ring, bearings ( unless the windings went). It cd be worth doing post mortems on all the alternators to work out why they're all failing, just in case it is some external factor on your car eg oil contamination
 

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Just read your last post, the Ac Deco post mortem will be interesting then. Hope the car's ok
 

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The shop could be fitting rebuilt alternators rather than brand new, to keep their costs down. Even though different makes, same supplier rebuilding them.
 

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If you have 3 different alternators fail in such a short time, and the last one quite dramatically, I'd be looking at a cause instead of replacing/rebuilding alternators. Could be a wiring problem that's causing an overload.
 

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I also wondered about a short causing the problem, but the circuits are protected by fuses. I would expect a fuse to blow first before an alternator overloads and catches fire.
 

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The alternator and starter are not protected by fuses. I've had a P38 in the Shop with a constant drain of around 100A due to a chafed cable between alternator and starter. A short like that near the alternator might be enough to start a fire.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hmm I personally have replaced all the wires going from my battery to the alternator to the starter and the one from battery directly to the fusebox with heavy gauge/well insulated welding cable. That was recently in the last 3 months . I don't think I would have a chaffed cable. but it's always worth a double check . I called the shop just a moment ago. Apparently I am unable to have the alternator's back since they have to send them back themselves to the supplier.. but they did confirm that there was stuff in the alternator that was melted and fused together internally (caused by the fire duh ) they didn't comment or say anything about what has been causing this problem though. They told me they are trying a different brand of alternator now , and it should be done by end of today .. It seems to me like this shop is just fixing the warranty part without doing proper diagnosis on why this is all happening .. they seem to believe that it is the alternator themselves . I guess I will find out in a month or so if im calling them again for another alternator... My only issue is this is the only shop close by with the proper diag/computer equipment. All other shops are 1 hour north or 2 hours south of my location. But im starting to feel like this shop has been incompetent and they are throwing my rover under the rug because of its age... The one service advisor there a while ago made a comment to me that because my rover has over 200,000km there's no point in keeping it ... I bought this for $1000 cdn and I do most services, work on it myself . And it makes a great winter veichle during cold Canadian winters.(granted when there's no crippling problems such as alternators crapping out and etc )
 

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I've found that a lot of alternators on the market are total garbage. I once had an original Magneti Marelli alternator explode on me at about 90,000 miles, so I don't have any confidence in those either. In my experience, the longest lasting have been the Bosch, even the remanufactured version will last many, many years. I use the Bosch AL9349X in my '98. You'll always pay more for a Bosch unit, but they don't fall apart like the other rebuilds.
 
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