Alternator -- was Re: Coolant

Peter Orban peter at
Fri Dec 22 09:09:53 EST 2006

Hi Max,

Good to hear that your problems are solved!

As for the alternator, the main reason for failure is age -  they wear
out, alternators in passenger cars are not designed to last 1/2 million
miles, like in a commercial truck, strictly for cost reasons.
The next reason is over tightened v-belts, that could take out the front
bearing of an alternator (and of a water pump, if driven by the same
belt) in short order.
The third reason is shoddy workmanship in alternator rebuilding. Case in
point: my son just got his first car, a '91 Golf. It had a recently
rebuilt alternator in it, that quit in a week. Upon disassembly it
turned out that they forgot to solder the field wring to one of the slip
rings that was replaced. The rear bearing and voltage regulator with the
brushes looked brand new, they were replaced, but the front bearing
was/is loose. If you ever had the "pleasure" of removing the pulley from
a VW/Audi used alternator (necessary to replace the front bearing), then
you will understand why it is not replaced as a matter of course by
cheap rebuilders.

Regards, Peter

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