BBB alternators?

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I need to buy a replacement alternator for the truck in my signature. I have done some research and made a few phone calls. Here are my options: 1. There are no alternator/starter rebuilders or automotive electrical shops around here where I live, so paying to rebuild my old OE alternator is not an option. 2. Buying a new OE alternator is not an option. I am not spending $275.00 on a "new" OE Mopar alternator that probably comes from the same factory in China that spits out parts store rebuilt units. Neither one of the two Dodge dealers I called today had a new OE alternator in stock anyway and surprisingly, neither one had any clue as to when they could have one ordered in for me. One was slightly more helpful than the other, but they did not seem very interested in helping me so I thanked them for their time and hung up. 3. I have 3 options here locally: Napa Autozone Advance Carquest is not an option. Their price is ridiculously high, it was about $40.00 higher than the "new" Napa alternator that is made in China. According to their respective web sites, AZ and AAP do not stock a new alternator for my truck and even if they did I would not buy it. It is probably made in China and I do not want to have a questionable quality alternator on my truck if I can help it. Both AZ and AAP reman's have the exact same part number and probably come from the exact same factory. I don't know whether it is in China or Mexico or whatever country. I did find a post here about the Napa reman alternators, there was a Napa manager who said they (Napa) are having good success with the Napa Rayloc 3 year warranty reman alternators from BBB. They cost a few bucks more than the AZ and AAP reman's and there is no AAP-style online discount. Mine is about $179.00 if I can find it in stock at a Napa withing 15 or 20 miles of my house. The Napa website is a little hard to tell whether a selected store has it in stock or not, and I have not had time to call around. I want a good alternator. I can't see spending $300.00 on an alternator for a 12 year old truck that has 151,000 miles on it, but at the same time I don't want to waste my money on cheap Chinese halfway-rebuilt junk. I have read most of the parts store reman's are only rebuilt to replace the parts that failed in the first place. In other words, I may get an alternator with new bearings but 150,000 miles on the diodes. No thanks. I don't want to get stranded some where due to a cheap alternator and I really don't want to have to R&R the darn thing every 6 months or maybe even less either. As you can tell from this post, I have read a lot of online horror stories and bad reviews of auto parts chain store reman alternators. They say the BBB alternators at Napa are very good quality and have a very low failure rate. They are rebuilt in Mexico with lower-wage-earning employees. It says that right on the BBB website. I am curious whether anyone here has any real-world experience with these BBB alternators, good or bad. I feel like I am running out of options and I would appreciate any help. Thanks.
 
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if its a truck usually those are out in the open and a 20-30min job max. I'd get something from AAP with the coupon code it should be cheapest option. something like the 30$ off 80$ purchase code etc. If you get unlucky and its a dud.. its not the end of the world unlike on some vehicles where its hours of labor to replace.
 
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JRed

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I've had nothing but good luck with salvage yard alternators. Know several people that have gotten replacement alternators from Napa/Advance/etc and none of those have failed that I know of, either.
 
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Have you considered a good low mile used one? The yards have interchange manuals that will tell them what years and models use the same unit so you can get one off the latest model. Good used OEM is preferable to most rebuilds IMHO.
 
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BBB Industries own OCA (Orange County Alternator),Wilson,Lucas brands starters/alternators.Decent stuff,but they all can have issues no matter the brand.WorldWide brand used to be good,I think BBB bought them too.
 
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Been stuck a couple of times. Have a Duralast Gold Starter (new, 2 years) and a Duralast Gold top battery (4 years). Both going strong. If the alternator goes will buy the DLG because I had good luck so far, can get new no reman. Can't tell anyone on the Toyota sites I'm not using Denso LOL
 
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No matter which one you choose, have them test it before you leave the store. It bites to do all the work only to find out the alternator they sold you is DOA. I have all starters and alternators tested before I leave the store with the part.
 
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Choosing from those three is like choosing which turd to eat for lunch. I'd take a junkyard Mopar over those any day. Can you get a Bosch reman shipped at reasonable cost?
 

Jimmy9190

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I guess I was a little disenchanted when I started this post. I have been reading up on alternators today and have pretty much just made up my mind all reman's are probably about the same, at least those within a normal price range are about the same. I thought about a junk yard alternator too, and the deciding factor on those is at least a new reman will have a warranty, where a used one has no warranty at all. If the used one fails I am right back here again, and a reman will have a warranty on it so I can exchange it. My alternator is right on top of the engine, not hard to R&R. I am going to take my chances on the Worldwide brand from AAP. I just now ordered it online for pickup in the store tomorrow. I used code VISA and saved $50.00, my price with tax and after the core charge is $111.00. That's a pretty good price and a great discount. I just hope the part is good, that's all. I remember I put an alternator from AAP on a friend's Honda about 10 years ago, it failed within 6 months. I hope things have changed at AAP with regard to alternators since then.
 
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It's a roll of the dice. With a little luck, you might have a good one. If you put it in and it seems to work, let then engine idle for an hour or so before you drive anywhere.
 

Jimmy9190

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Originally Posted By: javacontour
No matter which one you choose, have them test it before you leave the store. It bites to do all the work only to find out the alternator they sold you is DOA. I have all starters and alternators tested before I leave the store with the part.
That's a great idea and I will get it tested before taking it home. No sense in making two trips for a DOA part. Thanks.
 

Jimmy9190

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Originally Posted By: yonyon
It's a roll of the dice. With a little luck, you might have a good one. If you put it in and it seems to work, let then engine idle for an hour or so before you drive anywhere.
This is a good idea too. Thanks. Hopefully there won't be any problems with it, not now and not down the road in the future either. There were good reviews online for the AAP and AZ reman alternators too, I just am a little spooked about the possibility of getting a bad one.
 
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The AAP starter I put on my step-daughter's Camry is about two years old now. Mostly short trip driving, so it's used a fair amount. If they are good out of the box, I suspect most replacements will last quite a while.
 
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Originally Posted By: JRed
I've had nothing but good luck with salvage yard alternators. Know several people that have gotten replacement alternators from Napa/Advance/etc and none of those have failed that I know of, either.
I went through a stint where everything i bought at AZ lasted a few months (some a few weeks) and were jusnk.. Had a Camaro that seen 3 AZ alt's in 4 months.. after the 3rd i put a NAPA on it and it was still going strong 3 years later when i sold the car off.. now this story is awhile back.. there products may have changed since then.
 
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As I was told by a rebuild guy, the cheap out of country rebuilts skimp on things inside, but make the outside look like new. Like the solder new diodes into the bridge, the local rebuilder replaces the bridge. Are the brushes new? Did they turn on a lathe the area where the brushes contact? Bearings always replaced? Voltage regulator? A local rebuild guy could show you on an oscilloscope what the waveform looks like vs just the voltage. The better places always replace a certain list of parts regardless. The cheap rebuilts only replace what is broken and hope it outlives the warranty.
 
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Originally Posted By: Jimmy9190
Carquest is not an option. Their price is ridiculously high, it was about $40.00 higher than the "new" Napa alternator that is made in China.
I think the irony with your post (and most aftermarket parts buyers) is that they want is as cheap as possible and they don't want it made in China. Does anybody see the predicament that aftermarket parts suppliers face? It's no wonder that, IMO, aftermarket quality has gotten worse and everything is now made elsewhere. Can anybody else see why everything possible is now made overseas in a third-world sweat shop? (I'm not pointing the finger at a specific case. I've done it too)
 
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This used to be a premier rebuilder, now they are all new stuff: http://www.motorcityreman.com/ I, and many others I know have had nothing but success with their stuff. Lifetime warranty. Yes, it's mostly imported, but they set very high standards. Chain store rebuilders repair only what failed and are willing to take their chances. A good old school auto electric shop is a good bet. These are very simple devices.
 
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Most auto parts stores will honor their alternator warranty. But often, you will NEED that warranty! Get a good one, even if it is $50 more. Consider a Bosch. Yes, it's pricey. Do you want to do this twice? Are you keeping the car?
 
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I needed and bought a 'new' remanufactured alternator from my local autozone around 2009. Original factory one for my 95 neon finally keeled over14-15 years later. Got about 2 1/2 years out of the autozone alternator before it too, few months ago, let a bilow of smoke out, a weird noise..2-3 months later battery light come on...alternator dying. Have another autozone in thier(only option i had at the time, so am guessing 2 more years on it). hear beck arnely from advance auto parts are good. Mechanic who helped me told me he didnt like NAPA's stuff, markup valued, and if its under warrenty, and something happens, at least with him, my local one turns it around and makes it sound like he did something to it so it would fail. trying to keep the money* i never had that problem with them though..
 

Jimmy9190

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Well here's a bit of an update...I was sort of wrong about my OE alternator. I picked up my new alternator at AAP this afternoon after work. I had to get it from another AAP downtown, not the one near my house, they did not have it in stock when I did my online purchase last night. I think the guy at AAP who got the alternator off the go-shelf for me was the manager, it seemed like he was the one in charge. The guy was nice enough but he looked at me like I was crazy when I asked him to test the alternator for me before I took it home. He said "it's fine, they all work perfect". Again, I politely asked to have it tested first, I did not want to do the job twice and wanted to be sure the alternator worked OK. Again, he acted like I was asking for the key to the store and looked at me as if it was a huge inconvenience to test the alternator. I figured I was getting nowhere with this simple and reasonable request so I just took the alternator and told him thanks anyway and started to leave. That was when the "manager" told one of his counter guys to "hook it up and test it for this guy". The guy who did the test did not know how to use the testing machine and blew the breaker for it in the store's fuse box. I told him thanks anyway and left the store, alternator in hand. I took it up to the AAP just up the street from my house, that is where I do nearly all of my business with AAP, they sort of know me there. They tested it for me twice, it checked out fine both times, putting out just over 15 volts on the test machine, ran real quiet and smooth too. Normally I don't get too keyed up over poor service at a parts store, I will just keep my mouth shut and go somewhere else, but the less than stellar service at the AAP downtown made me pretty mad. I installed the new alternator and when I snapped the plastic cover back over the B+ terminal, a small piece of the plastic cup around the terminal on the alternator snapped off. I don't think I used a gorilla grip to put the cover on, but it broke anyway. I covered the exposed part of the B+ stud and ring terminal with black RTV, globbed just enough in there to keep out any dirt and water. That didn't sit well with me either, but I fixed it the best I could. After installing the new alternator, I had a good solid 13.65 volts with the engine idling and 13.75 with the engine at about 1500 RPM and high beams and A/C on full blast. The alternator works fine and runs smooth and quiet. Seems to be a good part but only time will tell for sure. It said on the box "Made in Mexico" so maybe it came from the same BBB plant where they rebuild alternators for Napa, I have no way to know. After I installed the new alternator, I still had a bad squealing noise. It seemed to come from the tensioner. I checked the pulley, it had some side-to side wobble in it so I went on up to AAP again, bought a new tensioner pulley and put it on, still had the same squeal with the engine running. I thought maybe the belt was the problem, it is a Duralast belt, is about a year and a half old and has maybe 15,000 miles on it IIRC, and it did not look to be in bad shape at all. I carry my previous serpentine belt (a Carquest red label belt) under the seat as an emergency spare. I dug it out, put it on and the squeal was gone. So I guess now I need a new belt. This was a learning experience for me. My old alternator had some roughness to it when I spun the pulley by hand, felt like there was too much play and wear in the bearings. There was also a small piece or part inside it that I could hear rattling around when I handled the alternator. For those reasons, I am leaving the new alternator in place. The old one may have been OK, but who knows how much longer it might have lasted. I saved $50.00 on the new one and I hope it lasts a long time. It has a lifetime warranty if it croaks. The new tensioner pulley stays too. The old pulley had about 110,000 miles on it. $15.00 for a new one is cheap insurance. I will get a new belt tomorrow and that should be the end of this little saga. I may try one of the new belts at Napa that resemble a Gatorback belt. I don't know what happened to cause my Duralast belt to squeal like it did, I have not had any problems that would make it stretch out or anything. Maybe the fact that I don't drive my truck a whole lot now had something to do with it. I work from home and sometimes my truck will sit for 4 or 5 days without me driving it anywhere. I have no idea. I may dig up this post later and update it with my alternator's performance results. I sure will update if the alternator croaks or smokes itself. So far, it is doing fine, runs real smooth and a lot less noise than my old one. Time will tell.
 
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