My “Check Charging System” light went off intermittently during highway driving last night. I have a new alternator (Feb 2018) and new Timing Belt (March 2017) and I have replaced battery a few times in this car. The dealer service guy is telling me that the spool valve failed just above the alternator and both will need to be replaced. Luckily, the alternator will be covered under the repair warrantee but the spool valve fix is $1,000. Does this sound right?
Did the dealer tech say WHY the Check Charging System light would indicate a bad variable valve timing spool valve? Or was there something else, like a check engine light? I am wondering why they said the spool valve was bad.
Assuming the spool valve IS bad, the part is pricey from the aftermarket at about $300. Dealer prices likely higher and labor is likely higher than local independent shops so $1000 might be in-line. I’d call around to a local independent shop and see what their estimate for replacing that part would be.
Thanks for the reply. He said that because of the spool valve failure, oil (or hydraulic fluid?) spilled all over the alternator and caused it to fail. His exact words were “come loose.”
OK, sounds plausible. The hydraulic fluid was, indeed, oil. Engine oil. Seems like he could have charged you for another alternator since it wasn’t the fault of the alternator but the valve, but didn’t. Based on that, I’d say you came out OK.
Thanks, Mustangman! Wow! CarTalk.com Community is the greatest!