[200q20v] Don't replace that alternator!

david_haupt at agilent.com david_haupt at agilent.com
Fri Mar 9 10:17:21 EST 2001

When you repair a component, there's always the risk that some other part of
it will fail.  I've had a few Audi and/or Quattro specialists tell me that
it's risky on all alternators, without specifying that any particular one is
worse.  On the other hand, for those of us on a budget, $35 and two hours is
easy, but the cost of outright replacement requires adjusting the budget.

I'm not like that on seriously risky repairs.  When having the T-belt
changed, I always have the water pump changed.  The damaged due to a failure
is too high to risk.  The alternator seemed like low risk, since the
remaining parts that tend to go bad give you some warning before they go
(bearing noise).  

If I had the budget, I'd replace with new or rebuilt, but if I had that kind
of budget, I'd be driving a notably newer Quattro!

So - 18 months on it and it's still going.  This alternator, BTW, has 145k
miles on it.  It's the 90A version.  If the bearings go tomorrow, then I'll
be a statistic that says "replace it!".


-----Original Message-----
From: Phil Rose [mailto:pjrose at frontiernet.net]
Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2001 10:00 PM
To: C1J1Miller at aol.com; david_haupt at agilent.com
Cc: 200q20v at audifans.com
Subject: Re: [200q20v] Don't replace that alternator!

At 1:28 PM -0500 3/8/01, C1J1Miller at aol.com wrote:
>In a message dated Thu, 8 Mar 2001 12:29:43 PM Eastern Standard 
>Time, david_haupt at agilent.com writes:
>Unless that shop REALLY knows the 200 Quattro, they might have
>the problem.  I'm a little surprised nobody else has mentioned this up to
>this point, because the topic's been discussed here by several people who
>were taken for an alternator when they didn't need one.
>  >>
>Good advice.  BTW, I did mention this stuff in my reply yesterday...

As to whether to fix or replace--What about the alleged "fact"--cited 
to me by a couple of different independent Audi wrenches--that the 
115 amp Bosch alternators are not built to the same standard of 
durability as their 90 amp version? Hence, they claim to often 
encounter additional failure modes in the 115 amp alternators fairly 
soon after doing the quick fix with brushes and regulator, whereas 
they claim that those repairs on the old 90 amp alternators seem a 
more satisfactory fix (longterm).

Fact or fiction? I don't know, but hearing that same story from two 
people I trusted made me decide to go ahead and replace my 120 kmile 
alternator (after I was convinced in the correctness of the basic 
diagnosis). I suppose it gets down to a question of expectations (how 
long will you keep the car) and resources.


Phil Rose
Rochester, NY
mailto:pjrose at frontiernet.net

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