View Full Version : Car alternator problems

12-11-2007, 02:06 PM
Does anyone know how much it costs on average to get an alternator replaced? I have a 1999 4cyl. Nissan Frontier, and I had to replace the alternator today. Just wanted to know if I got ripped off. Read below if you want details.

The story...
My alternator died this morning while I was at a left turn, so I had call a tow truck and get it towed. I told him to take it to Pep Boys, but he started talk about how great this other place is, and that I should avoid getting any electrical work done at Pep Boys. Not in the mood to argue I told him to take me to this magical shop.

Once the mechanic looked at it, he told me it would cost $330 before tax for a remanufactured alternator and labor. I was able to get him down to $315 out the door (~$292 before tax). I knew they were still charging me a lot, but since my truck was dead anyway and it would cost me the difference to get it towed to another store I said okay.

So I left my truck there and went home, and went to visit my good friend Google. I find out that a remanufactured alternator for my truck costs ~$180-200, which is how much this guy was charging me, but I could resell my old alternator (for its "core value") and maybe recoup some of my losses.

I then call to ask if my truck is ready. He said it is and I tell him that I want my old alternator back. Here's the kicker... He tells me he will give it back to me if I give him the core value ($60). I tell him to forget about it, and I went to pick up my truck.

Thinking this can't get any worse, as soon as I enter from the front of the shop (I was only in the back when I was dropping it off), I see a seasons greeting card from the tow company thanking them for business. This guy had hung it up in the front boasting that he gives the tow company commision for the cars they bring to him.

Lessons learned:
1. Trust no one. The minute you let your guard down someone will try to take advantage of you.
2. Learn about cars since they can breakdown in some of the worst possible situations.
3. Try to find a friend that is good with cars, or an honest mechanic (if there is one) that you know will help you and not rip you off
4. Enjoy the finer things in life like faimly and the Sierra-1's:D

P.S. As if the timing couldn't get any worse, I will be leaving the country for a vacation tomorrow.