Honda Ridgeline - Timing Belt Replaced Yesterday/Alternator Died Today

I have a 2007 Honda Ridgeline. The timing belt, water pump and tensioner were all replaced yesterday. I picked up the truck at about 5:00, drove it home (about 20 miles) and then drove to work this morning. Halfway to work, the dashboard went crazy; first a few idiot lights flashed on and off a few times; then all idiot lights came on, windshield wipers were very slow, anti-theft turned on. A few miles later the entire dashboard went dead - no speedometer, no gas gauge, etc. We were limping along another few miles when the truck died entirely. A call to the dealership where we had the work done yesterday yielded a tow truck and diagnostics. They now tell us that the alternator went, which seems right based on the symptoms. However, they also say it has absolutely nothing at all to do with the work they did yesterday. It seems to be just too much of a coincidence that the truck was perfectly fine before we brought it in and now, after they’ve done work on it, it breaks down on us.

Can there be a connection between changing the timing belt one day and the alternator going the next day?

I just want to make sure I’m not being taken. The work yesterday cost about $1000 and now the alternator today is estimated to be another $425. Ouch!!

Have them check the connections on the alternator before replacing it. They may have dislodged a connector while working on it, happened to me on a Civic

Unless, as SteveCBT suggested, a connection is loose, the failure is most likely a coincidence. But that’s a pretty high price for an alternator. The quote likely includes a new OEM alternator. See if they will install a quality remanufactured one instead. Normally, I would say you should take it to an independent shop but towing might well offset any savings.

+1 to both Steve’s post and NYBo’s post.

I might suggest too that for future work you look for a reputable independently owned and operated local shop. They’re usually a lot less expensive. Dealerships have to use only components purchased through the car manufacturer/dealer authorized supply chain, and they often cost 2 to 2-1/2 times an equivalent (just as good) aftermarket component, and dealers’ shop rates are usually higher.