A couple months ago, I took my 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe (2.7L V6) to the dealer because the engine didn’t sound right (louder and less smooth). A little less than three and a half years ago it sounded very similar, and I took it to a local mechanic. He said something about the alternator bearings (I can’t remember what exactly the problem was), and he replaced or rebuilt the alternator. (Sorry, my car knowledge is poor.) Sure enough, this time around they said the alternator bearings were loose (or something to that effect) and that they could replace the alternator for me, but they also said it was still working properly and putting out the right charge or whatever. Since I was also having the timing belt replaced (which was shockingly expensive), I elected not to have anything done about the alternator.
Fast forward to a couple weeks ago: my car won’t start. My dad and I were able to jump start it, and we drove it around for a few minutes without any problems. Took it back home, waited a couple hours and tried to start it again and it did. However, the next evening I tried to start it again, and it would not start.
Is the problem the alternator, the battery, both, or neither? What’s the best course to take from here?
The car has 135K+ miles but hasn’t had any other problems (other than the A/C going out).