I took our 2003 Taurus to the dealer ship to get back brakes, fuel filter and transmission fluid flush. The very same day the alternator light comes on and the car dies. They tell me i need a new alternator for $500. I find this very suspicious since they car ran fine and there was nothing wrong with it other than just needing some maintenance. The car has 83000 miles. Does this sound fishy? This sort of thing has happened to me before on a 89 Berretta. I spent $1600 on a overhaul and the next day the car doesn’t run and i find out i need a new alternator for that too.
It’s tough to tell. Stuff happens, and sometimes it’s simply coincidental. Without more detail I can’t see any reason to doubt the shop. The work they did would not be such that it could cause the alternator to fail. The car does, after all, have 83,000 miles on it.
I’ve seen this happen and I hate it…There are some real sleezy mechanics out there who will sabotage a car so the owner will bring it back for more work. Not everyone does it…I’ve seen enough of it to know it’s out there. One of these magazine shows did a segment on this several years ago.
dont take it to the dealer! the only time it needs to go to the dealer is for warranty work. find a good local mechanic.
look in the yellow pages for: electric motor, rebuilding. or alternately: auto parts, electric motors- rebuilding.
you may have to look a little bit to find the right category, but you will get to the places that specialize in this stuff.
you can take your car to one of these shops, they can check your alternator and fix whats ailing it, for an honest cost, and you get professional service. remember… these are the guys who do specifically alternator and electrical work for a living. they are GOOD at it, and can tell whats wrong quicker than the average mechanic.
sometimes what is wrong with alternators is mis-diagnosed. it can be several things including (from my stupididty) loose battery cables, up to (yes) a new alternator.
Coincidences like this occasionally DO occur. So the alternator actually COULD be bad. However, Tauruses of that vintage are famous for intermittent electrical grounding problems. Call around to find guys whow work on Fords a lot until you find one who is familiar with Taurus electricals. He can probably find the problem in just a few minutes.