CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2001 Subaru outback alternator

In August, the alternator died and I had it replaced (along with a new battery of course). Three days later I was driving along and the tell tell signs of a dead alternator appeared again. I brought the car back to my mechanic and he replaced it for free, saying that the first remanufactured alternator he put in was bad. Well yesterday the alternator died again killing our battery in the process. So we had to have both replaced again. We were traveling at the rime and in another city, so we had the work done by a different mechanic.

So, my question is this: is there something besides a bad part that would make the alternator die this many times? Or did the original mechanic put in another bad alternator in August that just took a longer to die this time?

I would check the ground connection from the battery to the chassis.

So are the alternators actually being tested and determined to be faulty beyond all doubt or is that a guess based on the alternator not providing any output?
The same goes for the battery replacement; verified beyond all doubt or plain old assumption?

Just because an alternator is not producing any current does not mean the alternator is bad because there are other faults that could cause this including an intermittent connection on the little read dashboard light circuit, fusible link connector, etc.