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I've replaced my alternator 5 times

I’ve replaced my alternator 5 times through 2 different chains stores over the course of 2 and a half months. They all failed for bad voltage regulator. The voltage regulator is built inside the alternator and can only be tested while the car is running. The car is a 2015 dodge dart and I’m running out of patience and funds and I was wondering if anybody else has had this problem or had any idea if there is something else wrong with my car that is burning out the voltage regulator? I’m starting to feel like it’s a computer but I have no idea and it’s cause me to lose my second job once before and I’m about to the new second job I just picked up for having such an unreliable car?

Do you have any after market accessories added to your car ?
HID headlights, stereo, amplifier , led lights.

Do you sit and listen to the radio with the engine off ?
Have you had your battery tested ? a bad battery can kill an alternator in a couple days.

I’ve had terrible luck with chain store alternators in the past, but 5 failures in less than 3 months sounds unusual for even the cheap parts store stuff. What stores are you getting them at?

Remarkably the battery is fine. The car is completly stock and no aftermarket parts besides the alternator. Most of the time my radio is off but I do run the ac but it cuts in and out so I don’t run it and leave my windows down. I never listen to my radio in acc.

Orielys and autozone

Have you had it tested ?
Just because it starts the car doesn’t mean it’s good.

Yes, the battery has been tested multiply times even at the dealership.

I once had the same problem with my 1985 Buick Skyhawk. I replaced one alternator after another. (Actually, a few were rebuilt rather than replaced.) I went everywhere, GM dealerships, Montgomery Ward, Sears, and finally, a Firestone mechanic figured out one of the wires running from the alternator was heating up for some reason. As soon as he replaced that wire, everything was fine. I never needed another alternator on that car.

Me thinks that is a clue that you have a electrical problem unrelated to the alternator but is the cause of failure . Might be time for an electrical auto shop.

It is very unlikely the root problem is defective alternators. Time for a professional evaluation.

Fix It Again Tony.

Your Dodge Dart is a FIAT.

That explains why I can’t find any wiring diagrams for the thing!

Tester

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I failed to mention but I did have a light blow out and then motor rebuild from a damage cylinder due to dirty oil when I replace my oil every 4k miles or 3 months. The engine bay is always scorching even after a 5min drive I can feel it from 2 ft away in front of the car. Never over heats.

Thank you everyone this does help. I’ve just felt like I’m going insane. Just not sure if I should take it to the dealership for the shady feeling I’ve been getting tho.

Some ideas:

  • Do the basic alternator/battery test. Before the first start of the day the battery should measure about 12.6 volts. Immediately after starting the engine, at idle, 13.5-15.5 volts.
  • Some of the bigger parts stores have alternator test fixtures. Ask around. Next time you buy an alternator buy it from a parts store that has the test fixture, and ask them to put the new alternator on the fixture & test it first.
  • Measure the alternator output current, battery fully charged, engine warm and running at idle, lights, AC, and all electrical accessories off. Shouldn’t be much more than 5-10 amps.
  • Make sure the alternator is spinning as fast as it should be, belt not slipping etc. Since the engine was rebuilt it is possible there’s something needs re-jiggering in the alternator belt loop.
  • If nothing found yet, buy the next replacement alternator at the Dodge dealership.
  • If the Dodge oem alternator fails, sell the car and buy something else. It’s not worth the hassle, given your 2nd job depends on your having a working car. Best of luck.

The voltage regulator is in the Powertrain Control Module, the PCM determines the target charging rate and controls the field on the alternator. This problem needs to be properly diagnosed.

Thank you, I’m going to try to get that looked at

Just gotta know where to look:

3 Likes

I’ll bet there is not a problem with the alternator.

Yeah, felt like it after the 2nd or 3rd alternator

That doesn’t seem right either. You might want to make sure the temp indicator is actually functioning correctly and it isn’t overheating. No car I have ever seen would get that hot in 5 minutes of operation unless something isn’t right. The starter and alternator are not going to like that hot of an environment as well…