Need Home Bad Alternator

So I’m about 230 miles from home which is right at 3.5 hours. My alternator is bad and a mechanic with parts, labor, and taxes will cost about $600. My dad is a mechanic and can fix it if I can make it back. My car is a 2012 model. Is this possible? It just started going out this morning and I’ll drive home tonight if I can.

I don’t think you will make it that far even with a fully charged battery all the electronic’s will be pulling the voltage down plus if you drive at night the light’s will pull it down in no time.

1 Like

Why are you not asking this question of your father . Even with a new fully charged battery you might drive for an hour . And when the vehicle quits it will probably be in front of a Semi-truck.


You should be able to make it onto a trailer. If the alternator has no output the battery will go dead while driving in 45 minutes.


I asked him and he isn’t responding. :sweat:

There isn’t a battery made that has a 3.5 hour reserve capacity.

Pay the $600 so you can get home.



Yes, that’s a lot of money, but it seems like a reasonable price. You couldn’t get it towed home for that little. Pay the man and get on the road. Good luck with the rest of your trip.

239 miles no alternator is iffy in my book. Alternators are not that hard, maybe he can talk you through it.

1 Like

thats a 4hr drive for dad.
are you going away to school? road trip? see the girlfriend?
do you HAVE to get home NOW?
why cant you wait till tomorrow?
go to walmart. buy a $40 jump pack that will allow you to move to a safe place
heck, stay in the walmart parking lot. till dad shows up

Hopefully Alexis had the new one installed. Not many options now that it is Sunday. Offhand I think $600 was very reasonable, the alternator for my truck, online, was over $600.

I had an alternator go bad one night with an hour left to drive to my destination.
I disconnected the right headlamp to reduce the load on the battery, and drove the hour without a problem.

I agree with the others’ concerns about trying to stretch that to 3.5 hours.

1 Like

In the old days of contact point ignitions and mechanical fuel pumps one could drive across several states on the battery only. No way is the Kia going to last anywhere near 3.5 hours because when the voltage starts dropping (and it will be soon) down to the 10 volts and under range it will die.

Rather than a tow bill or dad showing up with a trailer it would be best to bite the bullet and pay the 600. And I would sincerely hope the diagnosis of a failed alternator is correct. One would hate to hand over 6 bills and then discover the alternator is not working because of a popped fusible link or the little light bulb on the Battery Warning Light has burned out.

Another vote for paying the professional mechanic. Assuming that the diagnosis is correct, it is unlikely that you will be able to buy the part at retail plus all of the necessary tools for much less than $500, so having a professional do the job for $100 more is a bargain. If you were at home, and already owned the tools, then you could DIY for a fraction of the shop price–especially if you were willing to buy the parts online and wait for shipping.

Been 24hrs. Where’s papa?

Well ?
How did you do ? Did you make it? Did Dad fix it ?
I had the same thing happen to me years ago. I made it to the neighboring town and back.
I doubt I would have made it much further. I probably drove for about 45 minutes.
My signal lights quit working and I even got pulled over. The cop had a huge attitude about using signals in his town. He chilled when I told him I thought my alternator went.