To Rebuild or Repair: Here’s What to Consider About Your Alternator Issues

You car lights are dimmer than normal, you also notice some sounds that are abnormal, and your battery goes dead unexpectedly. These issues, especially in a short time period, are indicative of a problem with your alternator. When you take the car in, you may be given an option of going through alternator repairs or an alternator rebuild. If you are given that choice, here are a few things to consider:

Understanding Repairs

One of the things that should be considered before you choose the option you want to go with is what exactly an alternator repair entails. Alternator repairs mean that any parts that are broken or malfunctioning will be replaced with new working parts.

The alternator will ideally work like new once this has been done. This, however, does nothing for the other parts of the alternator that may be working at the time of the repair. What this means is that another part of the alternator could break down after the repairs are completed, which means more repair costs for you.

Understanding Rebuilds

Once you consider what a repair is, the next thing to consider is what a rebuild is when your alternator is concerned. The first thing to understand about the rebuild is that the entire alternator and all of its parts are taken apart and inspected for any issues. The parts are replaced based on the inspection and not necessarily based on simply what isn't working.

The alternator is completely broken down, checked, and then put back together. In some cases, you may have a warranty for a limited time on the rebuilt model. If you see refurbished, that means that is has generally been rebuilt by the manufacturer and not an independent mechanic.

Cost Issues

Cost issues play into any type of purchase or repair you make,  but with an alternator, they can play a bigger role. You don't want to necessarily go with the cheapest option. You want to go with the best long-term option for you. The alternator may be able to be repaired for a much lower amount of money than a rebuild. In other cases, a refurbished alternator may be cheaper. Consider warranties, durability, and lifespan of your choice.

A prime example of this would be going with a cheap repair that is not under warranty and may only last a few months to a year, instead of going with a refurbished alternator or alternator rebuild that could be under warranty and would last longer.

After you have considered these key points, you can make an easier decision to either go through alternator repairs or a rebuild. When you are ready to move forward, contact your mechanic for pricing and scheduling.