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Alternator question: Bosch, or

Hi all: Driving home yesterday, the dashboard on my 2012 Sonata started lighting up like the Fourth of July. A few moments later, the power steering went kaput. I got it to a shop this morning, and as I expected, they said the alternator needs replacing.

They offered me two price points, inclusive of labor (2 hours): $720 for a Bosch or $430 for a “lower-quality” option, which he couldn’t quite remember the name of but thought was a “Vivano” or something (he needed to call back the lot to confirm). I’m guessing maybe he meant Valeo, but I’ll verify in the morning.

Do those prices seem reasonable, and am I OK going the cheaper route? The price tag for the high-end one sort of shocked me, though I did notice that for whatever reason alternator repair costs reported online for Hyundai Sonatas often seem a little higher than for other makes and models. I’m also in DC, which is not a cheap town generally…

Appreciate any opinions!

If you can remove the alternator and take it to a local auto electric shop, they can fix and test the one you have. That’s probably less money and more confidence than buying something else.

Prices seem a little high, but labor rates vary across the country, The only real thing that matters is warranty, and how long you plan to keep the car.

Yeah prices seem high depending on labor but I would not go for the cheap one. I was replacing them about every year until I just switched to Delco. Never had a problem since.

The list price on a new Hyundai alternator is $430, 1.2 hours labor, plus the diagnostic fee, shop supplies and sales tax. That is less than $720, is the Bosch alternator better than the original?

There’s no such thing as a Hyundai alternator.

Hyundai manufactures vehicles, not alternators. Hyundai purchases their alternators from a vendor/supplier to be installed in their vehicles.

Here’s a new alternator for your vehicle for $172.00 plus shipping from ROCKAUTO.

Now all you have to do is find a shop who will install it.


Thanks all for weighing in. Good point that I need the warranty information before being able to compare the two. I’m curious to hear what they say about that.

Of course, given the hassle of transporting the car to another place since it’s not driveable at the moment, this shop has a nice Newton’s First Law advantage right now: inertia. Maybe I can convince them to install a cheaper part we find online…

We have a auto electric shop that has been in business forever. I have always had otherwise expensive repairs done by them for much less expense. My oldest Son had a Bosch alternator fail in his Audi 5000 (late 1980s). The Porsche/Audi dealer estimated $800 plus $150 labor for a new alternator or $600 plus $150 labor for a Bosch factory rebuild. $600 for parts and labor to rebuild an alternator??? They informed him any substitute would not work. Ha! Ha! Ha! My Son was crying the blues. I removed the alternator and went to the trusted auto electric shop. They tested rebuilt and retested it while I waited for less than an hour. Cost? $45. It of course worked as new.

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OP: The mechanic may send it to an auto electric shop if you discuss it with him; it would mean extra time on his lot and an extra trip to his service bay, and some extra delay for you (compared to him putting in an off-the-shelf new or rebuilt alternator.) I still think it’s worth considering it.

And is it a definitive diagnosis, that the alternator is the problem? Did the power steering fail because it’s electric and the battery became severely discharged so quickly? I am still skeptical. If all the dashboard lights came on, that would indicate the engine has stopped running, not that the alternator failed.

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Of course Hyundai doesn’t manufacture all of the parts for their vehicles, I was comparing the cost of an OEM alternator sourced from a Hyundai dealer to the price of the Bosch alternator. People expect to save money using aftermarket parts.

What should will call parts sold through dealers? Non aftermarket parts?

The OP asked what brand of alternator to have installed.

I just provided the biggest bang for the buck.


If I had this problem on my older Corolla I’d do what @shanonia suggests above, take it to the local auto electric shop and ask them to try to repair it. It would take them several days to either fix it or tell me they can’t. No problem, I’d drive my other vehicle in the meantime. However, if I didn’t have another vehicle to drive, and just wanted it fixed, and fixed correctly, and quickly, I’d install an oem alternator I bought at a dealership and expect to pay around $400-500 in parts cost.

BTW: If you’ve been jump starting other cars, or having your own car jump started, suggest you discontinue that. It can damage the alternator. I jump started another car w/my Corolla and burned out an alternator diode a few years ago.

To buy parts at wholesale prices from a warehouse is an easy answer but most people aren’t in a position to take advantage of that option.

I could be wrong, but the OEM alternator on a Sonata is probably not a Bosch or Valeo. The Bosch unit is most likely a rebuild. When I had my (import) auto parts business we sold Bosch products. Bosch did not rebuild the units themselves. They farmed them out which added an extra layer of pricing which is one of the reasons that Bosch was (is) more expensive than most other rebuilds. The second reason is that Bosch either provided (for their own units) the parts needed to rebuild the units or had the rebuilder source the the parts from other manufacturers. A lot of “local” or small rebuilders do not have access to some of the OE parts that go into the unit and/or do not change parts like bearings if they “appear” to be good. My experience was that Bosch rebuilds were the highest quality. Valeo is a French company that does a lot of manufacturing in Brazil (clutches and radiators, etc). I do not believe that I’ve sold a Valeo rebuild, but their other products were okay.